PolytunnelsUK.net Warns Prevention of Polytunnel Use will be a Detriment to the UK Fruit Farming Industry

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British Soft Fruit Industry Faces Crisis as Courts Clamp Down on Widespread Use of Polytunnels.

Polytunnels UK

Polytunnels UK

We guarantee competitive prices in a market where prices are constantly increasing as well as being able to assure consumers of both quality and availability.

Online polytunnel provider polytunnelsuk.net has this week issued a warning that the UK market for strawberries and raspberries are at risk of not being able to meet demand due to moves being made to prevent the use of polytunnels. According to PolytunnelsUK.net, supermarket sales of British grown berries have increased by 130% in the last 4 years. The ability to meet this demand has largely been due to the introduction of the polytunnel, also known as the Spanish tunnel, which allows the farmer to extend the growing season from May to mid-autumn.

Campaigners against the use of polytunnels are concerned that they are taking over the countryside and ruining areas of outstanding natural beauty. There are many misconceptions that it damages the environment, causes flooding and drainage problems and increases the need for pesticides.

The Misconceptions
One of the most common misconceptions about polytunnels for berry growing is that it is taking over the countryside when in fact they account for only 0.01% agricultural land as a whole! It is also required that all soft fruit farmers must adhere to a strict code of practice in order to minimise the view of the polytunnels by planting hedgerows and trees. The British Retail Consortium and the Assured Produce Scheme standards of agricultural practice require all British summer fruit farmers adhere to their high levels of safety in relation to the environment. Excess water running from field with water can be used to an advantage providing the farmer uses efficient drains and gullies in which case the water can be used for irrigation. The use of pesticides has been a point of debate amongst campaigners but in actual fact polytunnels reduce the need for pesticides by up to 50%! The risk of sprays drifting away from the intended fruit is greatly minimised due to the enclosed nature of the tunnel and levels of pesticide used are constantly monitored.

The Advantages for Farmers and Consumers
The advantages of the introduction of polytunnels are felt by many to outweigh the disadvantages. PolytunnelsUK.net argue that by allowing the use of polytunnels “we guarantee competitive prices in a market where prices are constantly increasing as well as being able to assure consumers of both quality and availability”. UK farm employment both permanent and seasonal has increased massively leading to strengthened rural economies. Polytunnels are essential to this as without them the yields for commercial production could not be met and supermarkets would be forced to import from overseas to meet marketdemand.

The Future
Realistically speaking, the future of the British soft fruit growing industry lies in the hands of the British courts. As more stringent rules and court judgements come into action the ability to meet markets demands will become tougher resulting in the need to source from overseas. Manufacturers of polytunnels are constantly developing new materials in order to reduce any impact on the environment but the need for these structures in an industry where weather conditions and disease have such an impact on success is paramount.

About PolytunnelsUK.net
PolytunnelsUK.net is the UK’s premier online retailer of all things polytunnel related. They boast a fantastic range of polytunnels, polytunnel covers and anchor kits.Due to years in the industry they have built up a wealth of knowledge and provide not only the equipment for ‘growing your own’ but also great guides showing how to get the most out of their polytunnels. For more information on the products available visit their website at http://www.polytunnelsuk.net/

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David Higginbottom
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