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Soft fruit conference told about honeyberry potential

Honeyberries (courtesy P.A. Arbuckle & Sons)
“As market trends evolve and diversify, the Society is glad to present new alternatives to soft fruit growers and industry.

What tastes like a cross between a raspberry and blueberry, is packed full of healthy compounds and is suited to cold climates? Growers in Scotland heard about the business potential of honeyberries - a new 'superberry' from Siberia and Japan – as part of the Scottish Society for Crop Research and Bulrush Horticulture Soft Fruit Information Day and Winter Meeting, held with the attendance of breeders, growers and industry representatives.

Stewart Arbuckle, from soft fruit firm P. A. Arbuckle & Sons and planter of Scotland's first orchard of honeyberries, said the berry is very easy to grow and offers the added benefit of being the first one to fruit in the season – about 10 to 14 days earlier than local native strawberries, which enhances Scotland’s capabilities to become the world’s premium growing honeyberry region.

LoveHoneyberry Solutions consultant Logie Cassells, who spoke at the event, added: “We are pushing for more growers to plant them this year, as Scotland’s climate is perfect for them. An aim of 5,000 acres over the next 10 years is ambitious, but achievable. Honeyberry orchards can achieve revenues from £10,000 to £25,000 an acre, depending on your aims, passion and drive.”

Rex Brennan, soft fruit breeder at the James Hutton Institute, said researchers are collaborating with P.A. Arbuckle & Sons in the propagation of honeyberries and are open to explore new types of soft fruits and their nutritional and commercial possibilities.

“Honeyberries originate from northern Asia, notably Siberia, and the blue-coloured fruit is of increasing interest due to its very desirable qualities, including very high levels of anthocyanin pigments.  This has led to commercial production in places such as Canada and now the UK.”

Alison Dolan, SSCR soft fruit subcommittee secretary, commented: “As market trends evolve and diversify, the Society is glad to present new alternatives to soft fruit growers and industry. We welcome this presentation about the advantages of honeyberries and hope it will be useful for our members.”

In addition to Bulrush Horticulture, trade exhibitors at the soft fruit conference included Agralan Ltd, Brinkman UK Ltd, Clydesdale Trading Society, Fargro Ltd, LoveHoneyberry, Omex Agriculture, Ripple Aquaplast and XL Horticulture. The programme encompassed the following talks:

  • P4 – Responsible sourcing of growing media – an overview
    Paul Alexander and Neil Bragg, Bulrush Horticulture
  • SSCR project: Spotted Wing Drosophila and 2015 update
    Alison Dolan and Gaynor Malloch, James Hutton Institute
  • SSCR project: Thermal imaging as a non-destructive method to detect root rot stress in raspberry
    Dominic Williams, James Hutton Limited
  • Current blueberry developments and how they can translate towards a UK cherry model
    Susan McCallum and Julie Graham, James Hutton Institute
  • New developments in nutrition
    David Marks, Omex Agriculture
  • Strawberry breeding at East Malling Research
    Adam Whitehouse, East Malling Research
  • New developments in tunnel films
    Les Lane, XL Horticulture
  • SSCR project: Feeding our foes
    Carolyn Mitchell, James Hutton Institute
  • An update from the RBC raspberry breeding programme
    Nikki Jennings, James Hutton Limited
  • SSCR project: Above and belowground interactions in agro-ecosystems: an ecological network approach
    Peter Orrell, James Hutton Institute jointly with Newcastle University
  • AHDB funded research in soft fruit
    Scott Raffle, AHDB

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Printed from /news/soft-fruit-conference-told-about-honeyberry-potential on 17/04/24 04:15:12 PM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.