Hall Hunter will supply 50 per cent of the 6,000 tonnes of UK-grown blueberries expected to hit retailer shelves

The British Blueberry season is underway, with the first volumes now available in store. Leading UK berry supplier Hall Hunter expects to harvest 3,000 tonnes this year – accounting for 50 per cent of total UK output.

Hall Hunter new Blueberry-grader

Hall Hunter’s brand-new Blueberry grader

Managing director Jim Floor said he is confident that demand for British blueberries will continue to grow.

“British blueberries are low on food miles and mighty on flavour – good for the people and for the planet,” he said. “The market for British Blueberries is growing at 30 per cent year on year, so there is plenty of room for further expansion here. At Hall Hunter, we want to make British blueberries the berry of choice for consumers during the season from June to September.”

Hall Hunter said it expects a bumper crop this summer due to a warmer than average May and excellent pollination, facilitated by its 5m-strong bee population. The company recently invested in a brand-new harvesting machine - capable of picking at 600kg per hour compared to just 10kg per hour by hand.

This season, Hall Hunter will employ over 1,200 workers via the seasonal workers scheme. It said it is proud to uphold a 65 per cent return rate year-on-year, as well as a 25 per cent uptake from those who have worked in the UK previously but have joined Hall Hunter for its enhanced worker offer and facilities.

The company has also acquired Elifab, a new blueberry grading and packing machine using AI technology to sort through the crop at high speed. It said it is consistently working to implement new technologies to execute the best and most efficient harvests possible.

“As more and more consumers look to make environmentally conscious choices, British blueberries are the perfect choice to avoid buying into high food miles. With tonnes of blueberries currently imported from around the world, many of the blueberries on sale have travelled over 6,000 miles from farm to fridge. British Blueberries eliminate these food miles completely,” Hall Hunter said.

“And not only are British blueberries better for the environment - they are also great for health. Amid growing concerns around ultra-processed food, there is a strong movement towards more natural eating. Blueberries have long been deemed a superfood and with a multitude of antioxidants and vitamins, they are a nutritious addition to any meal, or make for a much healthier snacking alternative.”