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Angus Soft Fruits (ASF) is a Scottish farming group, with many farms being family-run enterprises. The business has just launched Good Natured Fruit, which has been received enthusiastically by consumers and retailers alike.

ASF co-ordinates the growing, selling and product development of strawberries and raspberries grown in Scotland that are sold during a six month growing season. This is supplemented with produce from European partners to provide all year round soft fruit production as required.

Thanks to significant investment in their technical team, they are unrivalled experts in premium quality soft fruit. The Technical Director, Dave Griffiths, is a visionary who drives his team to reach the highest standards in growing perfection.

John Gray, Commercial Manager for Angus Soft Fruits explains, “Research tells us that consumers want fruit that is grown without pesticides, ideally in tune with Mother Nature. This is particularly important to parents with young children. As 16% of the UK’s strawberries are eaten by children under 10 years of age, the proposition of soft fruit that is free of artificial pesticides is particularly relevant.”

Good Natured Fruit strawberries and raspberries have just been launched in Tesco and Sainsbury’s and is the result of a four year in-house research programme. As part of the process, every possible threat to the crop was examined and artificial pesticide free protection techniques were developed for each condition. The company enhanced the natural defences of the plants and then put in place an intensive staff and grower training plan and auditing system.

However, it is not enough for fruit to simply be free of artificial pesticides – it needs to taste great too – and as soft fruit is so tricky to grow in the first place, this is no small challenge.

The technical team have focussed on fruit varieties and brands that deliver a superb taste, which gives Good Natured Fruit a positive point of difference against organic produce that, by its nature, usually involves the growing of more ‘hardy’ varieties.

John Gray adds, “Good Natured Fruit provides an affordable answer to those looking to reduce pesticides in food and compliments a range of fruit that includes both standard produce and organic. We see ourselves at the forefront of a new category that in theory could extend to a very wide range of produce in the future.”

Consumer promotion

Getting the Good Natured Fruit message to consumers is crucial. The brief was given to the award-winning Dragon brand agency, who designed the labels and packaging that communicates the no pesticide message in a friendly way that is meaningful to the consumer.

“We’ve invested heavily in consumer sampling, notably in Edinburgh and London through the Channel 4 Taste Festivals and the feedback from consumers has been extremely positive”, says John Gray.

“In addition, we have the support of Scotland’s best known chef, Nick Nairn, who was quick to appreciate the development as he has two young children of his own who love soft fruit. He has created a series of sweet and savoury recipes that the Cook School has photographed and are being issued to media contacts in order to generate publicity.

“It’s early days with this development but initial feedback from buyers, consumers and opinion formers has been terrific. We’ve turned a technical development into a marketing opportunity and through the use of creative agencies are now selling the concept to the public. The next stage involves recruiting more forward-looking growers to deal with the substantial demand. We would love to hear from future Good Natured Fruit growers.”

www.goodnaturedfruit.com

Angus Soft Fruits Limited, East Seaton, Arbroath, Angus DD11 5SD, Telephone +44 (0)1241 879 989.

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A wide selection of images available on request.
For further information and images please contact Amanda Parkinson on 020 7017 0893, email: amanda@yesconsultancy.com or Tina Fotherby on 020 7017 0892, tina@yesconsultancy.com at The YES Consultancy Limited.

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