The Kwanza raspberry harvest started a week ago at Rodanto and it is looking promising according to Edward Velasco from the company. This week’s dull rainy weather has put a little damper on the kilos though.
The company is increasing the acreage of raspberries and the varieties which it grows. “The new varieties are Enrosadira and Sarafina, it is better to have a few different varieties than to rely on just one, “ says Edward. “It also makes it easier to adapt to the variable weather conditions in the UK and better meet the needs of our customers. Kwanza remains the main variety at around 70% of our production.”
Labour was a concern at the start of the season due to immigration issues and the Corona virus, but its not been as bad as expected. “We have all of the Bulgarian workers that we need at the moment, we would usually hire 10-20 more for the peak period in July but we have decided to go with UK workers this year. There have been lots of applications, so we will have to see how that works out.
“It is very difficult to predict demand at the moment, it has certainly been less because of the lack of food service but how it will develop in the coming weeks is hard to tell.”
Rodanto are looking forward to finally moving their whole operation to Honeydale Farm where the berries are grown which was delayed due to the Coronavirus. A new packhouse and warehouse with offices has been built on the site. This means the fruit can be picked then packed on the same site, making the supply chain much more efficient.
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