Angus Berry growers to compete in Edinburgh marathon


Angus Soft Fruits running team

Local berry grower Angus Soft Fruits has announced it will send a team of runners to compete in this year’s Edinburgh Marathon Festival Hairy Haggis relay race in aid of Angus Foodbank, a charity that provides a lifeline to local people in crisis.

As food bank use continues to rise across Tayside and Fife, local berry grower Andrew Gray, who has farms in Angus, said that supporting the local food bank was an easy decision to make for the company and that the team are training hard for the 26.2-mile relay race on 27 May.

Twice a week over the summer, Angus Soft Fruits will also deliver a crate of their Scottish grown berries to Angus Foodbank distribution centres in Arbroath, Forfar, and Montrose. This will include their freshest AVA strawberries and raspberries which are grown right here in Angus.

From distribution centres in Forfar, Montrose, and Arbroath, Angus Foodbank provides up to three days’ nutritionally balanced emergency food and support to individuals and families in need across Angus. The relay is split into four parts and the team has already smashed their £300 target.

Andrew Gray has been growing berries in Angus for over 20 years. He said: “We’re all training hard for the Edinburgh Marathon relay race and hope to raise as much money as possible for an food incredibly worthy cause. Angus Foodbank provides a lifeline for so many local people in crisis, and I’m pleased that we will be continuing to support the charity over the summer with donations of fresh AVA strawberries and raspberries, because fresh berries should be enjoyed by everyone.”

Norman Brown, manager at Angus Foodbank, commented: “We are so pleased that Angus Soft Fruits has chosen to run the Edinburgh Marathon relay race in aid of Angus Foodbank this year. As demand for our services continues to rise, we are always so grateful for any donation, large or small. Storing fresh fruit is always difficult because it spoils so much faster than dried or tinned food. To receive a delivery of fresh berries twice a week over summer will be a great benefit to our service and I can’t thank Angus Soft Fruits and the AVA Berries team enough for their kindness.”

Also running the relay race is Rob Lutz, national account manager, Fraser Balharry, Angus Soft fruits supply chain manager, and Zoe Skivington, Angus Soft Fruits supply chain co-ordinator.

Developed from plant to punnet by an expert team of fruit growing and breeding experts, AVA™ strawberries only receive the AVA stamp of approval if they meet the highest standards in appearance, taste, juiciness, and yield. The first Scottish grown AVA™ strawberries of the summer season, AVA Star, AVA Blush, and AVA Rosa will begin hitting supermarket shelves towards the end of this month.