By Matthew McIntyre – McIntyre Fruit
The Scottish cherry season at McIntyre Fruit has come to an end and Matthew McIntyre said it was a fairly good season, but no bumper volumes this year.
“We started picking on 18th August and had anticipated lower than normal volumes, as it turned out yields were even lower than estimated which was a bit disappointing. One or two varieties had smaller fruit but the quality overall was very good.”
Demand was good as the English season came to an end at the end of August, but retailers had been slow to commit to contracts.
“It was a bit stressful, especially for the packhouse as we need to know what to pack the cherries in, but in the end, it was fine and prices which are always a bit slow to bounce back after the English season did improve.”
The UK has not had the best summer weather-wise and it was no different in Blairgowrie where Matthew has his cherry orchards. “Late August into September was relatively dry; we did have a couple of wet weekends but it didn’t affect the fruit as we were picking everything early and our quality record this season has been very good.”
McIntyre Fruit took over the running of the local packhouse last year and were able to make it much more efficient by introducing new processes this season.
“Because it was our second year, we had a better idea of what needed to be done,” said Matthew.
This year saw the end of an era at McIntyre Fruit as they picked the last ever crop of raspberries, the family has been growing raspberries here for over 100 years, but it was no longer viable and they decided to concentrate entirely on the cherry crop.
“We have spent the last couple of weeks removing the raspberry tunnels and irrigation systems which was quite a sad time for us and next year will be a bit different without the raspberries.”