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Wales Heritage Orchards Cluster Launch to Promote Welsh Variety Fruit

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Horticulture Wales has helped form a not-for-profit Community Interest Company, Wales Heritage Orchards Ltd, to help promote Welsh Heritage varieties of fruit. 

The aim of WHO Ltd is to benefit Heritage Orchard owners across Wales, preserving the Welsh varieties for future generation.  It will give Welsh Heritage Orchard owners and producers a voice and enable them to establish a Welsh Brand which will help promote food security for Wales by offering locally grown food.

Rural Affairs Minister, Lesley Griffiths said:

“The horticulture sector provides economic, social and environmental benefits to communities across Wales. The launch of Welsh Heritage Orchard varieties will be key in promoting our diversity of apples, something which will help both maintain the resilience of our fruit-producing trees and preserve our farming heritage.”

Based in Wrexham Glyndwr University, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Horticulture Wales Project Director Aulay Mackenzie said,

‘This is an excellent opportunity to promote the traditional Welsh Orchards and to preserve the taste of Welsh Heritage fruit for future generations.  This initiative fits perfectly with the Well-Being and Future Generations Act and will have a direct impact on sustainability in Wales.’

Laura Gough, Project Manager, added,

‘We are really excited to be able to continue our Heritage Orchard work by launching this exciting new logo at the Royal Welsh Show.  This bespoke logo will help everyone easily identify Welsh Heritage Orchard varieties.  We are really looking forward to welcoming our existing members and new members to our stand.  There will be lots to share with everyone throughout the show.’

WHO Ltd currently has a board of 8 directors from across Wales, which includes growers, producers and suppliers to ensure it represents all areas as one voice.  They also aim to offer advice, support and guidance to growers and producers.  Currently there are around 40 members, many of whom are orchard owners but it has also attracted others who want to plant new orchards with traditional Welsh varieties.

There is also a passion for the science within WHO Ltd.  By testing DNA of trees new Welsh Heritage varieties can still be discovered and preserved for future generations.

WHO Ltd members will also contribute to tourism in Wales by offering blossom trails, cider tasting and more as it grows.

The Horticulture Wales project is funded by the EU and Welsh government until June 2023.

To find out more please visit: horticulturewales.co.uk/clusters/the-wales-national-heritage-orchard

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