Strawberry season gets underway

Grower Mark Conway
Grower Mark Conway

Having just kick started the strawberry season, it is a busy time of year for Northern Ireland strawberry producers, as they prepare to deliver hundreds of thousands of fresh, locally produced strawberries, bursting with flavour to our shop shelves.

Northway is a Producer Organisation based in Blackwatertown that works with six local Strawberry Growers who are each gearing up for a successful season ahead following a collaborative and sustained period of strategic planning, development and investment in Northway Grown Strawberries since last year - the result of which, should ensure more Northway Grown Strawberries reach the hands of more local people this season.

The local strawberry season runs from May through until September, however this is a fact that few recognise given the year round supply of strawberries that has become available to us through imported product.

However, as Elaine Shaw, CEO of Northway explains, there is a flavour price to pay and a marked difference in quality between fresh local strawberries and those that have been imported.

“As a Producer Organisation, Northway encourages a collaborative approach to working to ensure steady, reliable production of a top quality product with strong local provenance. The Northern Irish Strawberry, grown right here on our doorstep, is of excellent quality and is in increasing demand by consumers who want to buy local. During season, strawberries that are picked on Northway member’s farms in the morning are generally on shop shelves by the afternoon – a freshness that just cannot be emulated by imported product – and that is why we have worked hard, between seasons, with our six strawberry producers to further develop the Northway Grown brand of strawberries that will be available on shop shelves this month.”

Strawberries that carry the Northway Grown stamp carry a quality mark that guarantees you will be buying local. Every Northway Grown strawberry has been picked from a Northway member’s farm and as a result can offer an unrivalled flavour.

Furthermore, Northway Grown produce is Red Tractor Quality assured and packed and distributed from a Northern Ireland accredited facility. As a result of these developments by Northway and its members, Northway Grown Strawberries will be in a store near you soon – just look out for the stamp!

If you are interested in stocking Northway Grown Strawberries please contact Elaine Shaw at Northway (028) 37 54 9370 today.