The Scottish soft fruit industry has been one of the fastest growing sectors in the past decade with its output in 2010 matching that of the whole of the sheep industry.
But this week, a leading grower warned that the raspberry industry was under threat if plant breeders did not come up with a variety that helped them compete in the modern market.
Peter Thomson from Blairgowrie told a soft fruit meeting at the James Hutton Institute in Dundee that recent advances in bringing out new varieties had helped English growers grab the time slots in the season where the market had traditionally been supplied with Scottish fruit.
“Rasp growing in Scotland is under threat,” he said. “We need a really good variety that can compete economically with the English.”
Thomson, whose family has been large scale growers of soft fruit for the majority of the 120 years during which Scotland has had a commercial industry, said the need was for a tasty variety which also yielded above the levels of the current crop of cultivars.
Growers were under the cosh supplying fresh fruit to the major supermarket chains and the only remedy to the price pressure they were under was to have more saleable fruit, he said.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Sunday 19 May 2013
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