Producer of the Month: Moorcourt Fruit Ltd
Moorcourt Fruit Ltd is a family run business based in North Herefordshire close to the Welsh border, specialising in high quality premium English cherries. The farm has been in the Price family since 1961 and the fruit enterprise was set up in the late 1990's focusing initially on growing and supplying cider apples. The farm then diversified into cherries in 2005. The cherries cover 25 acres with the majority tunnelled and include a mixture of 6 varieties which suit the farms location being a late site due to the geographical area. This means Moorcourt is able to produce a high quality cherry at the end of the English Cherry season.
Love British Food spoke to Chris Price, founder of Moorcourt Fruit Ltd.
Why do you do what you do?
After finishing university and completing modules on fresh produce and working on a fruit farm, I was inspired to plant my own cherries. I enjoy producing a seasonal crop which gains a premium status and is enjoyed by many along with the challenge that each year brings and seeing the fruit on the trees as a reward for the effort.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Watching the trees turn from dormant into blossom each year and seeing the buds appear and fruit develop. Watching the whole process from end to end and seeing the hard work and effort put in each year in tunnelling, pruning, spraying etc being rewarded with a good crop.
What do you enjoy least about your job?
The weather which can have such an impact on the crop, poor weather at pollination can dramatically reduce the crop, and a late frost at blossom time can also cause considerable damage to fruit buds.
What achievement are you most proud of?
Gaining highly commended in the 2015 Young Grower of the Year category at the Grower Awards.
Why should we buy British produce?
With the decision to leave the EU, buying British produce and supporting local producers and growers has never been so important. We produce a lot of great food and drink in Britain and we should be supporting these businesses rather than looking for imports all the time. Britain has a long heritage of premium animal breeds as well as high welfare standards and a mixed climate which allows us to produce a range of products which consumers should embrace.
How do you think we should be promoting British?
Putting British food on the menu in pubs and restaurant with clear information on where it is from, working with schools to educate on where food comes from and the importance of buying local British food. Clear marketing from the major retailers which stands out.
If you were an advertising executive what slogan would you use to promote British food?
Buy British, Eat British
What is on the menu this evening?
Packed supper this evening, it's a busy time of year for the other enterprises we run on the farm so we will be working late in this good weather filling our silage pit for our cattle to eat during the winter.
How can people get hold of your produce?
Our premium English cherries are available in major supermarkets. You can find our cherries in the premium King Cherry line and standard packs. We also sell fruit on our farm gate which is increasingly popular with locals and tourists, as well as supplying local fruit and veg shops.
Moorcourt Fruit Ltd, Lyonshall, Kington, Herefordshire HR5 3JZ - e:firstname.lastname@example.org