2017/18 Sustainable Investments and Trials around the Farm
Newmafruit has long been committed to the bigger picture, with a view to a sustainable future.
In 2011, Newmafruit International Ltd embarked on clean energy as one of its energy sources, installing 208 REC Solar Photovoltaic modules, with a net capacity of 49.92kw. This investment continues to deliver clean energy and revenue.
WATER and RECYCLING PLASTIC
Newmafruit Farms installed its 3rd bore hole in April of this year. Water is held in storage tanks, with drip-feed watering at selected orchards and for fruits grown in polytunnels, such as cherries and strawberries. End-of-life polytunnels are recycled in the UK as crop grow bags and compost sacks, cutting shipping emissions, plastic waste, and contributing to a sustainable horticulture industry.
Newmafruit Farms is currently trialling Anthocorids – natural predators commonly called minute pirate bugs, or flower bugs. Anthocorids occur naturally on several of the farms already, but the addition of extra Anthocorids will help maximise biological control principally over the pear sucker (Cacopsylla pyricola). Beverly Hawkins, soft fruit manager, is seen releasing the first batch of three, staggered over a couple of months.
To encourage pollinators, farm managers are distributing Wildflower seeds at the top and bottom ends of orchard rows.
Newmafruit Farms and Newmafruit International have hosted future farmers through their association with the University of Kent, School of Anthropology and Conservation. Masters students observed the environmental challenges surrounding food supply chains, from the farm, cold stores, packhouse, and distribution.