Angus Soft Fruits
- Sector: Food & Beverage
- Region: Scotland
Always in season
Celebrating its 25th birthday in 2019, Angus Soft Fruits is a leading supplier of berries to UK and European retailers. Established as a family business in 1994 by Lochy Porter, his father Willie and cousin James Gray, the company sells fruit directly to retailers. In 2018, it sold approximately 28,400 tonnes of soft fruit using this model. “We are passionate about delivering great tasting fruit,” says Finance Director Neil Redford. “In addition to growing and packing berries, we also breed in-house varieties of strawberries, raspberries and blackberries.”
To ensure that it can meet the UK’s demand for soft fruits, which has dramatically risen over the last 10 years, the company has invested in technology that can help provide fruit throughout the year, not just in season. The company developed the Seaton System, an apparatus of table-top polytunnel growing that allows fruit and vegetables to be grown free of pesticide residues. This enables the company’s growers to produce fruit from May until November, a huge increase from 30 years ago, when the Scottish berry season lasted only two weeks each year.
Angus Soft Fruits has also heavily invested in creating a larger variety of fruit. In 2003, it released the original AVA strawberry variety, which became the first strawberry grown in the UK to be sold into premium lines at leading retailers. “We have always invested in our varietal development programme,” says Neil, “with the primary aim of bringing new selections to the market that have improved flavour, appearance, shelf life, disease resistance and yield.”