Blackcurrant Harvest 2013 May update
After a cold, late spring blackcurrant crops are coming into flower with plenty of winter chill which is positive for even bud development. It is too early to predict UK crop yield potential because there are many factors such as frost, pests and disease, and even drought that can have huge impacts on potential cropping.
We will update potential after the IBA conference on the 5th and 6th June at which time we'll have a better idea of UK and European potential.
A J & C I Snell win Soft Fruit Grower of the Year 2013
The farm has been delighted to win the accolade of Soft Fruit Grower of the Year 2013 at the horticultural weeks Grower of the Year awards.
We were genuinely surprised to win the award against strong competition. The judges were impressed with our quality record, commercial stability and positive reputation within the industry.
A J & C I Snell double win at the National Fruit Show 2012
We are proud to win two first prizes at the National Fruit show 2012 with Driscolls Windsor strawberries and Driscolls Maravilla raspberries. We were particularly delighted to win the raspberry class where it was especially strong competition with 19 entrants.
The award provides tribute to everyone at the farm who has put in a tremendous effort in a particularly challenging growing year and proves the quality and taste of our berries have continued to go from strength to strength.
Blackcurrant Harvest 2012 - A June update!
In the UK after a mild dry winter, a late spring and a wet early summer, crops are looking quite variable in yield potential, but with expectations of excellent quality. In 2011 the UK harvest was around 15% lower than the previous year, and the predicitions at the Dundee conference was for a UK harvest of about 10,000 tonnes, which is slightly lower than 2011. Across Europe it is estimated that the 45,160 ha's of blackcurrant plantations have the potential to yield 158,600 tonnes of fruit which is a very small increase from the 150,321 tonnes harvested in 2011. However it is notoriously hard to accurately predict and although harvest time is rapidly approaching weather across Europe can and will have significant importance as the harvest is gathered.
Open Farm Sunday at Windmill Hill.
On Sunday 17th June the farm gates were opened to the public as part of LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming) open day. The sun finally shone and many people came to learn about soft fruit farming. It was a fun day involving tractor and trailer rides, a BBQ, smoothies and ice-creams. A fabulous £200 was rasied for our local churches and a great day was had by all.
Annual conference 2012 of the International Blackcurrant Association in Dundee.
At the conference Anthony Snell was elected as a Vice president of the association to represent the industry in the Northern Hemisphere under the new presidency of Svend Jensen. Details of the conference, speeches and global estimates can be obtained at www.internationalblackcurrantassociation.com
NFU Heart of Horticulture Report launched
On April 23rd Anthony Snell and a group of Herefordshire growers went to the House of Commons for the launch of NFU Heart of Horticulture report. Pictured Anthony Snell on the left stood next to Caroline Spelman MP and Secretary of State for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs who are both holding samples of the 'Windmill Hill Fruits' range. Also pictured Anthea McIntyre MEP, Jesse Norman MP and Herefordshire growers.
British Blackcurrant Harvest 2011
The 2011 harvest has produced an excellent quality crop of blackcurrants with a higher than average BRIX level. However, due to the dry UK summer yields are around 15% lower than the 2010 harvest.
We have been very encouraged with the increase in demand for British Blackcurrants with sales doubling on previous years indicating more people are appreciating the quality of British Blackcurrants.
In general crops have been variable across Europe, however a significant factor which has caused a shortfall of product for 2011 has been a lower than average Polish crop, thus causing higher prices.
Picture; Past president of the International Blackcurrant Association, Jim Grierson and Anthony Snell; GOES Netherlands 26th May 2011
Great British Food Revival; British Blackcurrant Filming
At the peak of the blackcurrant harvest we welcomed a film crew who carried out various interviews and filmed harvesting for the popular Great British Food Revival Series 2 on BBC 2 which is starting at the end of October 2011. The blackcurrant episode is due to be shown on Monday 14th November 2011 at 7.00pm on BBC 2.
New Specialist IQF Blackcurrant Harvester
The two existing blackcurrant harvesters were this year supplemented with an extra specialist SFM IQF blackcurrant harvesting machine. The specialist harvester has an onboard sorting facility which provides a significant step forward in IQF quality.
A J & C I Snell win 'Organic Grower of the Year 2011'
We are proud to announce that we have been awarded ‘Organic Grower of the Year 2011’ at the Horticultural weeks ‘Grower of the Year’ awards ceremony for our Organic Blackcurrants!
The award follows great investment and development in the growing methods as well as successful innovative marketing of our full soil association certified blackcurrants.
Gold Star at Great Taste Awards 2011
The Windmill Hill Fruits British Frozen From Fresh Summer fruits retail pack has won a gold star at the Great Taste Awards 2011. This pack contains 25% British Blackcurrants. The judge’s comments included -
“Good quality fruit….very natural, preservation doesn’t kill the flavour”
British Blackcurrants now available!
British Blackcurrants are now available through the 'online shop' section of the website – allowing delivery of our very own quality IQF blackcurrants to your door. In addition a retail pack of ‘British Blackcurrants’ are available in various independent stores – please see the ‘Windmill Hill Fruits’ website for more information.