In the future, the massive glasshouse at Dyson Farming’s facility in Carrington, Lincolnshire, will be able to produce 750 tonnes of strawberries per year.
The first of those succulent fruits was picked recently and will head to market to be sold at Marks & Spencer, Waitrose and Tesco.
Dyson Farming, one of the members of production and marketing co-operative Berry Gardens, said the six-hectare building powered with renewable electricity and heat from an anaerobic digester will house 832 rows of strawberries and 700,000 strawberry plants and be able to run from March through November.
“Building a glasshouse of this scale that utilises the heat and energy from the AD plant to grow top quality sustainable British strawberries beyond the traditional season, all within a year, is a great achievement by the team,” Ben Wills, Head of Estate at Dyson Farming said. “And we will not stop here. The site allows us to continue to innovate into the future, incorporating new technologies and practices. The increasingly symbiotic relationship between technology and farming should, I hope, yield novel approaches to sustainable production and improved performance.”
Dyson got a big assist from Berry Gardens on the project, offering up specialist genetics and technical and marketing support services to make the launch happen. Berry Gardens said its growers average berry supply of an astounding 42 weeks per year.
“We are privileged to be working with pioneering growers, including Dyson Farming, who have a reputation for world-class innovation and technological advancement,” Nick Allen, Chief Executive Officer at Berry Gardens said. “We’re sure it is only a matter of time before Dyson Farming’s tech know-how and our genetics know-how will combine to give British retailers, and ultimately British shoppers, berries of the highest standard all year round.”