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Fresh Strawberry Production


The main soft fruit crop grown in Ireland is the fresh strawberry. This is worth an estimated €47m per annum. In this factsheet, Eamonn Kehoe, Soft fruit Specialist Adviser gives advice on fresh strawberry production.

Ireland's Favourite soft fruit

The main soft fruit crop grown in Ireland is the fresh strawberry. This is worth an estimated €47m per annum. The  number  one strawberry grown at present is the cultivar Malling Centenary. This cultivar  gives  a very high percentage class-one fruit quality,  leading to greater productivity and efficiencies on the farm. Most strawberries are now grown under cover, using either tunnels or glasshouses. This has allowed the season to be extended with high-quality strawberries available from March until November. This makes it possible to grow strawberries in almost any part of the country, giving a great opportunity for producers to supply their local market.

Benefits

  • Strawberries can be grown for local supply in almost any part of the country.
  • Customers have a preference for locally grown produce.
  • Provides an excellent income – can supplement an existing job, as most of the work is seasonal.
  • Provides local employment.
  • Scores very high in sustainability

Facts and Figures

  • Excellent opportunities for new entrants to supply the local market.
  • At least 8,000 tonnes of fresh strawberries produced each year, worth an estimated €47m.
  • Annual growth of about 10%.
  • The vast majority of strawberries are sold and consumed in Ireland.
  • Protected cropping is the mainstay.
  • The season now runs for up to 10 months.
  • Strawberries are seen as healthy and nutritious by the consumer.
  • Growing methods are very advanced in terms of sustainable farming.

View the full factsheet here