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Centre for Alternative Land Use


CALU NEWS - January 2006


The supermarket group Sainsbury is trialling the feasibility of producing avocados under glass in the UK.
The trial will enable a full cost-benefit analysis to be produced comparing home grown pears with imported.
Sainsbury's has also established an innvotive partnership with major industrial partners on Teeside in the East of England using 'waste' carbon dioxide and steam from industrial processes to fuel glass houses for year round tomato production.
Source: J Sainsbury & The Grocer


Congratulations to Medwyn Williams - CALU Advisory Board member and vegetable grower extraordinaire - on being awarded an MBE.
Medwyn, who has won the prestigious Gold Medal at Chelsea Flower Show an astonishing 10 times in a row, was awarded the MBE in the New Year's Honours List in recognition of his horticultural work.
Medwyn is also a writer, broadcaster and Chairman of the National Vegetable Society.

Visit Medwyn's website here.

CALU is delighted to announce that Alasdair Kilpatrick has joined the team.

Alasdair, who has a background in science and engineering, recently completed an MSc in Environmental Forestry. He joins CALU in the role of Development Officer and will be leading CALU's demonstration activities.

Alasdair can be contacted on the usual CALU number - 01248 680450 or via e-mail Interreg HORTICULTURE PROJECT
CALU partner, the Welsh College of Horticulture, is embarking on a new project in conjunction with the Irish Exporters Association to develop cross border cooperation and development within the horticultural industry.
The main objective is to create sustainable on-farm employment and to sustain and economically develop the existing horticultural businesses in the region. The project will seek to identify value added economic activity, which has a proven record of success and where the factors underpinning that success can be transferred to areas of need.  

The demand for blueberries keeps on growing and producers across the world are seeking to capitalise on this. The Grower (5th January) reports that Chile, Argentina and South Africa are all set to significantly increase their production. Whilst Serbia has received a grant from USAid for $129,000 to develop its blueberry production.


Alasdair Kilpatrick - Development Officer, CALU

The Grocer magazine (07/01/06) reports that honey sales are continuing to show strong year on year growth. The value of UK honey sales has increased by 4.5% to £60.9m.
The same report points out that year on year sales of mainstream jams and marmalades have declined. However, sales of 'premium' jams and conserves, particularly those with lower added sugar levels, have shown steady growth. The Grocer refers to this as the 'premiumisation' of the category.
These trends show that consumers are still seeking products which have a health image. Consumers are also willing to pay premium prices for these products.


The last days of 2005 saw Waverley Borough Council taking what is being viewed as a landmark decision in relation to polytunnels and planning permission.
Following an appeal and public enquiry, the Council stood by its initial decision that polytunnels, windbreaks and associated structures at a farm in Surrey did need planning permission and must be removed.
The farm has 99 acres of polytunnels and associated structures.
Source: CPRE & The Grower






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CALU exists to transfer technology to any business in Wales that is interested in horticulture, biomass, alternative crops, alternative livestock and/or farm woodlands.

CALU is funded by the WDA and Welsh Assembly Government