Koppert Hives At The Heart Of Pumpkin Produce Success At Gilfresh
Gilfresh Produce, based in County Armagh in Northern Ireland, are a family run company, first established in 1965, that have grown into one of the country's leading vegetable providers. Gilfresh grow, source, process and package wholehead vegetables as well as a range of prepared vegetables. Gilresh are continuing to expand their portfolio as they continue to provide quality vegetables for retail and food manufacturing customers throughout the island of Ireland.
We caught up with Richard Gilpin, head of farm operations at Gilfresh, who explained the relationship Gilfresh is presently enjoying with Koppert as they continue to produce healthy and productive vegetable yields. Koppert supply Gilfresh with Tripol Bumblebee Hives to increase crop pollination, and the hives have helped to provide some magnificent recent yields in Gilfresh's Pumpkin crop.
"We have been working with Koppert since we started growing pumpkins 5 years ago. The first year we planted 2Ha, and now we're up to 80Ha", Richard explains, "We are using approximately one hive per hectare and this year we plan to bring in 75 hives".
Flourishing Apple Orchards Inspired Increased Commitment To Pollination
Richard believes the local demographic had a big impact in inspiring Gilfesh to increase pollination efforts through the use of Koppert Hives:
"County Armagh is known as Ireland's orchard county due to the number of apple orchards located here. We were aware of how important pollination was in the surrounding orchards, and when we started to grow pumpkins we transferred this across to our pumpkin crops."
"We Have Seen Some Of Our Best Yields In Fields Where We Have Hives"
In order to sustain and develop the recent pollination efforts, Gilfresh have mapped their pumpkin fields and are provided with regular consultancy from local Koppert experts: "We walk the fields with our local Koppert representative from Burkes Agri and develop a plan to ensure that the whole area gets covered by a hive. We don't have any numerical data yet, but we have seen some of our best yields in fields where we have hives and where the neighbouring orchards also have hives".
With pollination proving vital to increased yields in an expanding company such as Gilfresh, Koppert is showing to be at the heart of success stories across the growing industry.