Photo courtesy of BerryWorld

How BerryWorld and its growers are thriving while keeping an eye on the environment

Produce Business report

Like most UK produce companies, BerryWorld for decades not only has focussed on delivering high-quality fruit to consumers but also ensured its operations and growers do in a sustainable manner.

Its grower base are all Global Gap certified, as well as meeting Nurture, Sedex, BRC and Leaf standards for food safety and labour. While working to get to net zero carbon emissions by 2040, their growers are also doing their part in helping keep the environment clean.

Many of those soft fruit partners use natural processes in their everyday work, ensuring lower emissions while prioritising biodiversity, wildlife and water sustainability.

“We are pleased to be working with growers who are committed to growing a sustainable berry world and are continuously looking at ways to minimise its impact on the environment,” says Paul Cole, managing director at BerryWorld UK, which itself has reduced its emissions by 20% in the past five years. “Their determination to continue to improve is what has positioned them as industry leaders today.”

That network utilises smart, environmentally friendly practises, embracing green energy and self-sufficiency, which not only benefits current customers but future generations.

Here is just a small sampling of what BerryWorld’s growers – 80% of whom are zero-to-waste landfill – are doing to put nature at the forefront of their work:

  • “Growers Stephen and Jenny Tasker use 100% green energy via on-site wind turbines, solar power, and a biomass boiler.
  • Dearnsdale Fruit boasts a 100kw solar generation on its packhouse and transfers heat from cold store units to heat shower water for personnel. 
  • Edward Vinson Ltd., Winterwood Farms and Starkey’s, cover 20-25% of their annual energy needs with green sources. Starkey’s also has sowed 4 acres of their farm astride a public footpath with wildflowers this Spring.
  • Dearnsdale Fruit has planted 4ha of wildflower mix in their farm, whilst working closely with consultants for advice on best practise in conservation of flora and fauna.
  • Summer Berry Company has a strong commitment to biodiversity and plants trees and hedges whilst incorporating wildflowers into their fruit fields to encourage insect and bee population.”

Beyond those initiatives, the company is sponsoring PhD students who are looking at ways to sustainability through bees.

“Bees are such an important part of our business and for the wider ecosystem, so we felt it was right to invest in this research,” said Emma Henry, Senior Responsible Sourcing Manager at BerryWorld UK, which notes that Busby, Withers Farm, The Summer Berry Company and Winterwood Farms are all involved in research projects. “The objective of these studies is to assess the behaviour and health of bees within soft fruit crops, whilst finding solutions to support bees on the farm all year round.”

Many growers also have irrigation systems which capture rainwater and use digital monitoring to improve efficiency. Withers Farm has more than 18 months’ worth stored in reservoirs, while Dearnsdale Fruit collects water from tunnels, which is reused for irrigation.



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