Marks & Spencer has explained how North Dublin-based fruit company Keelings leads the way in research and development to produce berries for its stores.
Keelings has supplied M&S stores with a wide range of produce since 2000, including strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and gooseberries.
Managing Director of Keelings Farms and the head grower in charge of the Irish berries supplied to M&S, Andrew Wilson explained, “It takes a full growing team to ensure only the freshest, ripest, tastiest berries arrive into M&S stores.
“Ireland’s notoriously erratic climate is one of the biggest variables our growing team encounters. Extreme care and attention is given to berry tending at all stages of the supply chain, whether it’s growing, picking or storing.
“All our fruit are harvested and handled as gently as possible, and then moved quickly to cold store in order to ensure freshness, great retained flavour and a good shelf-life for M&S customers,” he concluded.
Andy Mitchell, Produce Technologist from M&S added that the retailer has worked closed with Keelings and has been impressed by the team’s commitment to improving the quality of the range supplied to the supermarket.
Keelings has invested in a range of sustainability measures, including a Combined Heat and Power Plant, which burns gas to produce electricity and heat. Carbon dioxide from the unit it directed into the glasshouses to be absorbed by the plants as part of their growing process, increasing the yield.
© 2015 - Checkout Magazine by Jenny Whelan