UK manufacturers look to super strawberries for upturn

UK manufacturers look to super strawberries for upturn

Due to the climate in the UK, the growing of strawberries and other similar products is not a very big industry for UK farmers. However, there is hope this is about to change with the introduction of a custom-designed strawberry much better suited to being grown in UK. Suppliers of catering supplies are also keeping an eye on this story as it could benefit both the food and farming industries as a whole.

This information comes from the East Malling Research Centre which is a specialist in plant breeding. According to them, much could be done to make the strawberry more suitable, not just for growing in the UK, but for freezing and use it in more and more food products. For example, making the strawberry more firm means they are less likely to go mushy in the freezer. This is just one idea of many doing the rounds at the moment.

Another idea is to breed strawberries with a stronger, richer red colour which would not become pale when it is used in dairy products. Processed deserts and yoghurts would be of a richer colour and altogether more appetising. There is a hope this would make the berry growing industry in the UK more profitable long-term.

Also, for the purpose of making growing strawberries less expensive, a breed of strawberry could be developed which could be harvested mechanically rather than by hand. To achieve this, the strawberries would have to be developed to ripen at exactly the same time and also be tough enough to be harvested by a machine. At the moment of course, strawberry pickers must go along the crop and pick off the strawberries which are ready, and leave the ones which are not.

These are all just ideas at the moment, but with advances in plant breeding, the experts at the East Malling Research Centre believe they all realistic possibilities.