International Blackcurrant Conference 2016, a Fruitful Event for Tayside
8 December 2016
Mackays Scottish Blackcurrant Preserve emerged victorious at the International Blackcurrant Conference in Kent this year where it was awarded first prize in the best Food products category. Up against many international favourites, Mackays preserve was awarded the top spot for its delicious taste and authenticity.
The International Blackcurrant Conference celebrates achievements and developments in the international blackcurrant industry. This year, it attracted an audience of around 120 from as far afield as New Zealand, Japan and Australia.
A testament to true Tayside teamwork, Mackays Scottish Blackcurrant Preserve is made from blackcurrant varieties bred by soft fruit experts at the James Hutton Institute in Invergowrie, the fruit used in the prize winning preserve is mainly grown in Angus and the jam is produced by Mackays in Arbroath.
Martin Grant, Managing Director of Mackays, said, “We are delighted to receive this prestigious award. We pride ourselves on the quality of our preserves and are fortunate to be able to source excellent quality blackcurrant fruit locally, which is carefully processed by our dedicated team in Arbroath.”
At the same event, Dr Rex Brennan of the James Hutton Institute was recognised for his outstanding contribution to the blackcurrant industry over the last thirty years.
Dr Brennan’s research over the previous three decades has focussed on breeding new varieties of blackcurrant with increased yields, improved pest and disease resistance, improved taste, higher levels of Vitamin C and better adapted to our changing climate. Blackcurrant varieties created at the James Hutton Institute by Dr Brennan and his team are estimated to account for 95% of the UK’s blackcurrant crops and 50% of global crops. Rarely eaten fresh, the majority of blackcurrants are processed to make a wide range of preserves, drinks and sweet treats. The tiny purple super fruit is said to contain six to eight times more antioxidants than blueberries.