British apple and pear growers care about the environment. They minimise energy use, avoid as much waste as they can, recycle and encourage biodiversity while producing delicious fruit.

To keep a check on things, British growers are members of assurance schemes. These schemes require growers to keep detailed records of all plant protection products they use and maintain records of the servicing of machinery and equipment together with the disposal of waste. Independent audits are undertaken and growers who fail to meet the necessary standards are delisted as suppliers. Similar schemes apply to packhouse operators and those who store fruit.

Here are just some of the practical steps apple and pear growers take to protect the environment:

  • Plant the headlands of orchards (unploughed strips of land) with plants and shrubs that will attract bees and other beneficial insects to maximise pollination and reduce pests.
  • Create and preserve habitats for beneficial insects which provide invaluable pollination and pest control.
  • Put up nesting boxes for birds.
  • Use pheromone traps to attract and control pests.
  • Use mulches to control weeds and conserve water.
  • Collect rainwater for irrigation and recycle water used in packhouses by filtering and purifying with UV light.
  • Generate electricity for packhouses and cold stores with  solar panels.
  • British apple and pear growers are committed to a zero to landfill strategy. Cardboard, paper, wood and plastic are collected for recycling and pack-houses recycle 100% of these. Plus, every piece of fruit has a place either in fresh sales, in juice or in compost or animal feed.
environment