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Beneficial British bugs battle beasties to balance beautiful bumper berry bounty

Sabina Wyant

Technical Manager - Organics and Soft Fruits
Welwyn Garden City

30 Jul 2017

How our British berry suppliers harness nature to produce our brilliant range of berries and benefit beautiful Britain.

Our berry suppliers embrace biodiversity on their farms to help protect and produce our berries. Being in balance with the natural surroundings helps to protect the environment. Our suppliers work to support their local eco-systems and utilise nature to assist in berry production.

Encouraging Wildlife

Our growers sow mixed wild flower seeds around their sites to encourage wild vegetation growth. This in turn draws local wildlife to the area. Insects are attracted to the flowering plants which in turn brings birds and small mammals to the area. Some growers have created specific paths so that local residents can enjoy the farm surroundings and wildlife it supports. Many of our suppliers supporting the RSPB Birdwatch campaign.

Beneficial Bugs

Berries can be attacked by lots of different naturally occurring pests. To naturally protect our berries, growers employ other natural predators to control these pests. Some are so small they cannot be seen by the naked eye. The ladybird is excellent at keeping aphids at bay from all our berries. Strawberry plants can be severely damaged by the Red Spider Mite. The Phytoseiulus Persimilis is a natural predator of the Red Spider Mite and an effective natural beneficial bug.

Watching Water Use

Water makes up a high percentage of each berry. Many of our growers collect rainwater from the natural run-off from their glass houses. Many farms have established reservoirs which in turn have created natural habitats for local wildlife and fauna. Intelligent, automated watering system ensure plants receive optimal irrigation and avoid wasting water. The systems account for changes in weather and temperature and alter watering schedule as appropriate. They can be monitored and controlled by tablets or smartphones.

British Bumble Bees

British Bumble Bees (Bombus terrestris, sub species Audax) were collected from the UK countryside many years ago. Bee suppliers now import these native sub species back to the UK to help with pollination in British glasshouses.

The bees have a purpose built hive for a healthy and active colony. Protected from adverse weather conditions and a plentiful supply of food, they lead a comfortable and productive life. Like our biological control insects, the bees also help control pests in the glasshouse. Bees are an essential and natural part of producing our delicious berries.

Best of British Berries 

Our berry boffins sample berries in the field during the British season to ensure that flavour, appearance and texture meets the needs of our customers. Monitoring quality and flavour performance throughout the season is important to our customers. Our beneficial beasties help to naturally produce our crops that our suppliers provide to Tesco. Now is an even better time to buy berries at Tesco as we have selected berries at 2 for £3 from 26th July to 15th August.

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