Waitrose working to encourage sustainable food production
Worldwide Fruit is a producer, packer, distributor and marketer of apples and pears for Waitrose. Worldwide Fruit is vertically integrated with its grower base in the UK and New Zealand through shareholding arrangements. It sources fruit from 32 different countries around the world and works with some of the leading global producers. Worldwide Fruit strongly believes in producing products in a sustainable way, and has developed a research and innovation agenda to consider the challenges that exist in the following key areas:
Worldwide Fruit is engaged in three long-term projects (funded by Innovate UK) focusing on reducing waste through implementing precision-based orchard management technologies and reducing the need for insecticides by increasing populations of predators in the orchards. For example, Worldwide Fruit is looking to control Pear Suckers, a pest that affects many orchards and can have catastrophic effects on crop quality, without the use of insecticides. In this video, David Long at Marshgate Farm explains how he controls the Pear Sucker on his farm. Worldwide Fruit is funding a PhD student for 3 years to develop a protocol to manipulate the orchard environment to help increase pollinator insects. Tony Harding, Technical Director at Worldwide Fruit, explains how this study is having a beneficial impact on orchards.