Scottish berry grower wins big at UK fresh industry's produce awards

James Pitt, David Buxcey and Andy Horner

L to R: James Pitt, Trading Manager, David Buxcey, Sales Director and Andy Horner, Senior Trading Manager at Angus Soft Fruits.

A Scottish berry grower won Wholesale or Foodservice Supplier of the Year and Marketing or Digital Initiative of the Year at the UK Fruit & Vegetable Awards held at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry on 7th October.

Named Wholesale Supplier of the Year, Angus Soft Fruits was recognised for its rapid growth in the ‘out of home’ sector, successfully implementing a strategy to grow revenues to £12 million in 2018 and achieving almost 100% growth year on year.

Angus Soft Fruits also triumphed in Marketing or Digital Initiative of the Year, which recognises the producer’s strategic marketing plan to raise public awareness of its premium berry variety, AVA™ Berries. This year’s marketing campaign included partnering with Scotland’s largest running event, the Edinburgh Marathon Festival, as the ‘Official Strawberry Supplier’ to sample AVA™ Berries across the event weekend.

“To win both Wholesale or Foodservice Supplier of the Year and Marketing or Digital Initiative of the Year at the UK Fruit and Vegetable awards is a testament to the hard work and commitment of the Angus Soft Fruits team, who continue to excel in all areas of our industry," says John Gray, Commercial Director at Angus Soft Fruits. "It is incredibly humbling to be recognised in this way by our peers and I’d like to personally thank everyone who voted for us.”

Presented by Fresh Produce Journal, the awards are the only pan-industry fresh produce awards voted for by senior professionals working across the UK fruit and vegetable industry.

Angus Soft Fruits Ltd is a leading supplier of berries to UK and European retailers. They breed, grow and pack berries from around the world to ensure a consistent supply of the best tasting fruit for our customers.

The primary aim of the Angus Breeding Programme is to bring new selections to the market that have improved flavour, appearance, shelf life, disease resistance and yield than current varieties. It was set up in the mid-1990s and was the impetus for the development of the AVA strawberry. The programme is focused on improving the standard of berries grown and a key initiative is to improve disease resistance of new varieties, thus reducing usage and dependence on pesticides, while ensuring that growers can make a sustainable return on the crops they grow. 

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