To leverage the benefits of co-operation to ensure our members have the best and most sustainable route to market.
A cohesive sustainable and influential group of growers who enjoy both a reputation for high quality and high environmental and ethical standards.
Berry Gardens Growers Ltd grows healthy, delicious berries and stone fruit. We believe our product to be world-beating and are committed to keeping it this way.
While the traditional British summer fruit season historically lasted for around eight weeks (July and August), with genetic, and other technological advancements, married with the skill of our growers, has resulted in the UK season now stretching from March/April to November.
Our growers lead the British soft-fruit industry when it comes to innovation; a role which manifests in several ways.
We have recently partnered with the Jones Food Company (owner of Europe’s largest vertical farm) to investigate the viability of growing strawberries year-round.
We were a key player in Innovate UK’s Robot Highways project developing robotic technology to help with disease control, plant intelligence and monitoring as well as cutting, spraying and transporting berries.
We have been part of multiple consortia developing a range of tools for growers. These include ways to improve irrigation efficiency, integrated solutions for pest and disease monitoring and control, precision fertigation, harvest prediction, fruit harvesting and retrieval etc.
Several of our growers have invested in ground-breaking sustainability measures on their farms.
Robots which treat disease with UV light rather than pesticides on trial at Clock House Farm
We’re investigating the viability of growing strawberries in vertical farms.
The list of sustainable practices employed across our growers’ farms is a long one, and includes:
A £10 m project, which uses water from the River Medway to heat out of season berry crops grown in permanent plastic tunnels.
Management plans for water, waste, energy, soils, crop protection, biodiversity and landscape.
Deployment of natural enemies to control and reduce the impact of harmful pests
Hundreds of beehives to help honeybees and bumblebees pollinate our berry flowers.
Creation of wildflower strips to aid natural pollination services.
Bumblebees pollinate strawberry flowers
Our grower’s welcome fruit-pickers from around the world each year, many returning season after season. We consider these workers to be part of the Berry Gardens family and are committed to high standards of worker welfare.
This commitment is managed by individual grower farms on a farm-by-farm basis, with standards clearly laid out by us to each member of the co-operative and audited by us. If ever growers fall below acceptable standards we investigate and remedy efficiently and effectively.
We work closely with government, retailers, recruiters, growers and relevant regulatory bodies to ensure standards are maintained. Our grower’s welcome fruit-pickers from around the world each year, many returning season after season. Our growers highly value these workers and they are committed to providing high standards of accommodation and worker welfare.
This commitment is managed by individual grower farms on a farm-by-farm basis, with standards clearly laid out to each member of the co-operative and audited by us. If a grower ever falls below acceptable standards, we investigate and work with the grower to remedy the issue efficiently and effectively.
We work closely with government, retailers, recruiters, growers and the relevant regulatory bodies to ensure standards are maintained.