Bartlett uproots carrot growing

THERE are some three quarter of a million tonnes of carrots grown in the UK every year and in proportional terms Scotland has been growing more than is consumed north of the Border.

But this year, one of the major contractors is slashing his acreage grown in Scotland and moving to Lincolnshire.

Paddy Graham Jones, technical director with Albert Bartlett, Airdrie, said: “Carrots are a good break crop but there are now big savings that can be achieved if we move our growing down south.”

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Last year, the company grew about 450 acres in Angus and Perthshire but has now cut this to one-third of that level.

Bartletts have found that while the winters are often less severe in the east coast of Scotland, the variety they are using does not like the wetter conditions.

Graham Jones also pointed out the savings that could be achieved on transport costs which on the almost 500 mile trip to the processing factory in Boston, could amount to 30 per tonne.

And in the future, while most of the transferred acreage will continue to be left in the field until it is needed, Bartletts are also trialling a high humidity store.

However, it seems unlikely that other companies will move their acreage south – Martin Evans, the chairman of the British Carrot Growers Association, described Scotland as “vital” for prepackers.