FEARS have been raised over the impact climate change is having on the farming of blackcurrants in and around Colchester.

Feeringbury Manor, in Feering, has been known to harvest supply for the soft drink Ribena, which is made by Suntory Beverage & Food GB&I.

But its ability to do so - along with blackcurrant farms across the UK - has been thrown into doubt following a survey.

The first-of-its kind piece of research collected the thoughts of blackcurrant farmers and the results prove concerning for the likes of Feeringbury Manor.

According to the findings, the iconic British crop is under threat from climate change, due to blackcurrant bushes requiring cold winters.

Higher temperatures, such as those being experienced throughout the country, therefore interfere with the flowering of the bush and lead to smaller crops.

The research is the first of its kind and aimed to start a constructive conversation between blackcurrant growers and policymakers and influencers about how to support the industry. 

Key findings showed 83 per cent of blackcurrant growers believe climate change is already impacting their harvests due to extreme weather events.

The survey also revealed 74 per cent of blackcurrant farmers said weather is the main concern ahead of the upcoming 2023 harvest. 

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The results of the survery were unveiled in the Houses of Parliament during an event attended by Priti Patel, MP for Witham, and local grower David Guest.

​The meeting brought together blackcurrant growers and policymakers to discuss the topics most affecting the farming industry.