Discover how our British growers are committed to sustainable berry growing

Taking sustainability in berry growing to the next level, BerryWorld and our long-standing grower network are proactively working on several sustainability initiatives to grow in harmony with nature for generations to come.

We are proud to be working with growers who are certified according to the highest food safety, environmental and labour standards and who are growing our exclusive flavour picked varieties in harmony with nature.

They are leading the way towards a more sustainable future for the UK berry sector with a focus on three key areas: emissions and resources; biodiversity and wildlife; and water sustainability.

Our net zero emission goal 📉

At BerryWorld UK, we are working towards achieving net zero emissions by 2040 and within our own operations have already achieved a 20% reduction since 2016. We have set framework for measuring carbon and shared it with our UK grower base to encourage a standardised approach.

Our growers are increasing their use of green energy sources and are self-sufficient at certain times of the year. Stephen and Jenny Tasker, one of our growers, are leading the way in this area, being 100% green energy powered by generating energy through on-site wind turbines, solar power, and a biomass boiler.

Other BerryWorld growers can achieve self-sufficiency at certain times of the year and are also working to increase their percentage of green energy usage. Dearnsdale Fruit has a 100kw solar generation on the packhouse whilst also transferring heat from coldstore units to heat shower water for personnel while Edward Vinson Ltd., Winterwood Farms and Starkey’s, cover 20- 25% of their annual energy needs with green sources.

Within the emissions area, farm waste management also plays a key role. Currently, 80% of our UK growers are zero waste to landfill, including: Tasker Partnership, Starkey’s and Winterwood Farms whilst remaining growers are on track to achieve it by 2022.

Buzzing with biodiversity and wildlife 🐝

BerryWorld growers are making significant strides to protect and encourage biodiversity and wildlife.

Dearnsdale Fruit is committed to grow side by side with nature. They have planted 4 ha of wildflower mix in their farm whilst working closely with consultants for advice on best practise in conservation of flora and fauna.

Starkey’s sowed 4 acres of their farm astride a public footpath with wildflowers this Spring. Cornflowers, poppies, borage etc. are just beginning to flower in the “bee and butterfly” seed mixture area.

The Summer Berry Company has a strong commitment to biodiversity and plants trees and hedges while incorporating wildflowers into the fruit fields to encourage insect and bee population.

Additionally, as BerryWorld, we are currently sponsoring three PhD students researching different aspects of bee sustainability.

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. 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” says Emma Henry, Senior Responsible Sourcing Manager at BerryWorld UK.

Growers who are kindly hosting these research projects at their farms include Busby, Withers Farm, The Summer Berry Company and Winterwood Farms.

Preserving water resources 💧

The majority of our growers are able to capture and store rainfall whilst using efficient irrigation systems to ensure water sustainability. Withers Farm, for example currently has over 18 months’ worth of rainwater stored in reservoirs and can harvest and capture 100% of rainwater.

Dearnsdale Fruit collects water from tunnels and uses computerised-monitoring systems for irrigation which ensure berries are only irrigated when required, using the minimum amount of water.

BerryWorld growers are also taking part in regional projects in this area. For example, Edward Vinson, Ltd. participates in the Holistic Water for Horticulture project in Kent. This is a project which promotes an approach based on rainwater runoff recapture, recycling water for irrigation and returning excess water to the environment using nature-based techniques.

A world of good 🌍

“We are pleased to be working with growers who are committed to grow a sustainable berry world and are continuously looking at ways to minimise its impact on the environment. Their determination to continue to improve is what has positioned them as industry leaders today”, says Paul Cole, Managing director at BerryWorld UK.

Posted: 21 Jul 2021