Initiative is aimed at supporting apple industry’s journey to net zero

British Apples & Pears Ltd (BAPL) has announced an expansion of its existing Farming Innovation Pathways feasibility project to analyse the impact of British apples on the environment.

The industry body has secured funding from Innovate UK for the project, named ’Supporting top fruit’s journey to net zero’, which aims to evaluate the apple supply chain and its implications for the environment.

Cranfield University will be assessing the lifecycle of British Gala apples, accounting for impacts occurring on farm, and during storage as well as transportation to customer distribution centres.

Additional subcontractors in the second phase include Combind Industries, experts in pyrolysis and biochar production, and Carbogenics, who will explore the cutting edge-research. The new project partners will work beside CHAP, Hutchinsons, Adrian Scripps and the University of Edinburgh.

The research project began in June 2022, and results are expected in 12 to 24 months and will be presented via an industry-facing report at project completion.

“This project is extremely important for the topfruit industry,” said Ali Capper, BAPL executive chair. “Supermarkets and consumers are rightly concerned about carbon emissions. Being able to quantify the carbon footprint of British apples will, we hope, give people another great reason to support the category.

“Despite the extremely challenging market conditions our growers face, we are dedicated to investment in the long-term future of British apple and pear orchards. That’s why we’re so pleased to have been able to start this important research project.”