Tyfu Cymru News Round-up
4th February – 10th February 2019
Did you know this week was #CarrotWeek? We made sure to celebrate with a lovely piece of carrot cake. Why don’t you grab a slice (or a beetroot latte?) whilst having a read through our weekly news round-up, which includes our favourite horticulture news items from the week!
Organic Market Hits New High
This week a report by the Soil Association revealed that the UK organic market is now worth £2.33 billion with a 5.3 percent growth in 2018, the highest ever value placed on the organic market.
The 2019 Organic Market Report highlights a seventh year of consecutive growth and shows that almost £45 million is spent on organic each week in the UK. Soil Association Certification licensees' sales are up 9%, well ahead of the overall organic market.
The report also states that land in conversion to organic in the UK rose by 30%; total organic land increased by 1.9%, and the number of organic processors increased by over 6%. Home delivery of organic, through online and box schemes, was the fastest growing route to market in 2018, rising by 14.2%, this channel now accounts for 14% of all organic sales. Organic sales into foodservice also grew by almost 8% to £90.9 million.
UK organic market now worth £2.33bn with 5% growth in 2018, the highest ever value placed on the organic market. A report launched by Soil Association shows that almost £45 million is spent on organic each week in the UK. For more information see: https://t.co/nntH8Ijqze— TyfuCymru (@TyfuCymru) February 8, 2019
How is Social Media Influencing the Way We Eat and Drink?
According to research by Waitrose, one in five of us post pictures of our food and drink on social media, but does this change the way we eat and drink? The hunt for the perfect #instaworthy image means consumers are experimenting more with their food and drink choices and are more likely to experiment and favour bright and colourful products. This trend has seen a rise in new and interesting food and beverages.
#ColourfulLattes such as beetroot, matcha, turmeric and charcoal have seen over 200,000 Instagram posts worldwide in the past 12 months and has grown by 24% in the last 6 months. It is also reported that celery juice is a rising star on social media, while vegetables in general are becoming increasingly trendy…
Beetroot Latte anyone?https://t.co/GCRgd1EQQk— TyfuCymru (@TyfuCymru) February 7, 2019
This week saw a robotic table-top strawberry picker launch on international market. The robot is able to navigate through strawberry plants, monitor fruit, detect ripe ones, pick them without bruising and place them in a punnet. The firm's chief executive Tom Coe said: "Harvest prediction, picking according to market needs, simply picking when the berries are ripe instead of when workers are available – these are just a few examples of what is possible as of today."
An interesting article from Horticulture Week also explored how growers can maximise fruit tree and vine productivity. It reports that ‘retailers want small apples, which means, say, 6.5 apples per kilogram rather than five, so you need to produce 30% more fruits for the same yield. We also have more difficult weather in the UK, so leaf quality is crucial. We need to get the message across to consumers and retailers that we can grow what they want, but it comes at a price.’
It was also reported that new research has found that plants bleed when they are cut (sort of) - When a plant is cut, it seems able to direct nutrients and minerals around the cut, sealing the cut area off and protecting healthier parts of the plant. It’s not quite the self-healing mechanism that animals have, but it stops the bleeding. Could that be used to keep plants healthy and maybe even grow them faster?
Robotic table-top strawberry picker launched on international market...— TyfuCymru (@TyfuCymru) February 6, 2019
The robot is able to navigate through strawberry plants, monitor fruit, detect ripe ones, pick them without bruising and place them in a punnet. https://t.co/lgt5hm1b5T pic.twitter.com/XsWLp4QQxp
How can growers maximise fruit tree and vine productivity? https://t.co/YPfRgid7oF?— TyfuCymru (@TyfuCymru) February 4, 2019
When Plants Are Cut, They Bleed, Sort Of...— TyfuCymru (@TyfuCymru) February 7, 2019
The plant has a natural defense when it’s sick, and also a natural boosting ability. Could that be used to keep plants healthy and maybe even grow them faster?https://t.co/gQGgsShCiw
Making progress with the Fruit Network
Back in December we announced the launch of the Tyfu Cymru Fruit Network, which is formed of selected commercial Welsh soft fruit growers, all with the aim to build the capacity and capability of the sector, focusing on overcoming challenges faced by the industry as well as providing a platform for identifying future learning needs, best practice and seeking out opportunities for collaboration.
We are now half way through our event schedule, with a second event being held at Springfields Fresh Produce this week, which focused on planting, substrates, crop management, feeding and planning. It was a great day, and we look forward to more events next week!
Fantastic #fruitnetwork @TyfuCymru @adas with Springfields fresh produce yesterday learning about planting, substrates, crop management, feeding, planning #busyday #productiveproduction pic.twitter.com/aggLCYQbZC— TyfuCymru (@TyfuCymru) February 6, 2019
Climate change poses ‘major threat’?
A new report by The Climate Coalition has warned last year’s drought conditions could become the norm for UK growers. The study revealed that the UK should expect more intense heatwaves – which caused a 20% drop in potato yields last year, and even contributed to smaller chips!
An expert advice article in Horticulture Week has set out how growers should plan for more frequent and extreme weather conditions. One key points relates to pricing: ‘Often crop yields are reduced in bad weather, causing shortages. If this occurs, make sure that you have dynamic pricing that reflects supply and demand. As supply is reduced but demand remains constant or increases, then this needs to be reflected in higher prices.’ The full story can be found here: https://www.hortweek.com/business-planning-plan-extreme-weather/ornamentals/article/1522066
Around half of England and Wales had below average rainfall for 2018... Can growers expect to be hit by drought conditions in 2019?https://t.co/9KdGAANz7X?— TyfuCymru (@TyfuCymru) February 5, 2019
Last year’s drought a sign of things to come for British potato and vegetable growers?— TyfuCymru (@TyfuCymru) February 8, 2019
A new report by The Climate Coalition has warned last year’s drought conditions could become the norm for UK growers.