, (PressExposure) July 01, 2006 -- The first locally grown Scottish strawberries of the season have finally arrived and are being snapped up by local supermarkets. Strawberries are always a sure sign of summer's arrival and these ones are extra special because they are grown locally and delivered directly to local Dundee ASDA stores by the grower himself to ensure ultimate quality & freshness.
These first strawberries were grown in Arbroath in Angus on a newly established Strawberry Farm by Andrew Cranston. The farm operation in Arbroath has been setup in February by Well Pict European-Scotland to cover the existing gap in the demand for high quality locally grown berries in Scotland.
Andrew, who is originally from the boarders, is a 4th generation strawberry grower. After spending the last few years growing strawberries in Kent, he has returned to Scotland to do what he does best. He is confident that he is now producing amongst the freshest & tastiest strawberries in Scotland.
Scottish customers have long realised that Scottish strawberries are very different to the imported alternatives and after a long winter of eating Spanish imports, a return to the famously sweet and delicate Scottish berry is truly a pleasure. The Scots are very particular about their berries and are very supportive of the home grown crop. Sales of strawberries in Scotland more than double during the Scottish growing season, which is a clear sign of the huge demand for locally grown & produced berries.
The National Farmers Union Scotland has recently been asking supermarkets to increase the amount of local produce that they buy from local suppliers and reduce the amount of food miles incurred. They continue to say that many foods are already produced in Scotland to a very high standard and it makes no sense to ship in equivalents from around the world. The UK has become a nation overly reliant on imported food and Scottish suppliers are facing major financial pressure as a consequence of cheep imports.
Andrew harvests his strawberries every day and delivers to his local stores six times a week as part of ASDA's Local Choice campaign. This way local berries are sold in local stores and consumed by local people. He commented "Customers really want to support their local farms and growers, as they know that their money is going to remain in the local economy."
Asda have actively encouraged local growers and farmers to deliver their produce directly to their local store instead of supplying via the regional depot. This ensures that berries have an extra day of shelf life as the 'depot day' is removed. This means that the product is fresher, tastier and lasts longer. It is especially important with a product as delicate as a Scottish strawberry, which are possibly the most delicate of all strawberries, to do all that is possible to extend shelf life. Furthermore, delivering locally ensures that food travels far fewer 'food' miles, which benefits the environment by reducing harmful emissions from fleet transportation.
Scotland is one of seven regions around Britain where locally grown strawberries are received by 80 local stores. Richard Hatherley, ASDA's fruit buyer says of the campaign, "The concept of 'Local' is really impacting upon customers buying behaviour and we are noticing an ever increasing demand for locally grown produce. It is a fantastic development that actively encourages Scottish growers even further to grow local foods for local consumption". ASDA are very supportive of this initiative and are determined to develop and grow local wherever possible.
AMS Marketing will be supplying Twenty Two ASDA stores in Scotland with local Strawberries this season. The season starts in mid June and continues to October.
The Scottish Strawberry industry is now worth many millions of pounds, which gives a tremendous boost for the local rural economies, many of which still depend on agriculture.