It has been nearly 30 years since Peter and Melanie Thomson planted the first blueberry plants on West Haugh Farm in Blairgowrie. All that time, they sold locally grown fruits and berries to Scottish supermarkets. But as cheaper blueberries are coming in in increasing volumes from South America and southern Africa, the farmers can no longer compete.
Thomson: “We gave up entirely on the blueberries because we can no longer make money on them. We have no realistic prospect of making money unless the supermarkets are prepared to pay for Scottish blueberries. But they know their customers, and the customers are not prepared to pay a premium for Scottish fruit.”
Peter and Melanie made the decision to stop spending money on their 65-acre crop last year, but are still growing and selling cherries on West Haugh Farm.