Bill & Geoff Bruce

We’re the Bruce family and our first blackcurrants were planted back in 1981. We’ve been farming here in Perthshire Scotland since 1898 – a fourth generation farming family. My father Bruce (left) and I are the current custodians of this magnificent land.


How long have you been growing blackcurrants?

We’ve been growing for over 30 years.

What varieties do you grow and in what region?

Here in Perthshire, Scotland we grow Ben Gairn (this is a Marilyn; the rest are Munros) – Ben Alder, Ben Hope, Ben Dorain, Ben Klibreck and Ben Starav.

How much do you harvest annually and where do they go?

We average 500 tonnes (record was 800 tonnes); all for Ribena.

What else do you grow?
We also grow Vining Peas, Broad Beans, Potatoes, Strawberries, Raspberries, Haskaps, Malting Barley and Pedigree Charolais Cattle.
Why do you love growing blackcurrants?
We enjoy growing this very healthy fruit and that it is relatively labour unintensive!
Can you give one tip that people could benefit from when growing blackcurrants?

Prune hard in the winter (remove up to half the branches – the old and weak ones)

Can you tell us about some of the ways in which you manage the land sustainably?

We are continually monitoring/testing the land for nutrients, trace elements and organic matter to ensure that we improve it by correct crop rotation and use of additives including natural manure. We want to “leave our land better than we found it”.

What’s your favourite way to enjoy blackcurrants?
Frozen blackcurrants, oats, protein powder and water make a fast, magnificent shake which can be enjoyed all year round. I see there’s also a great Smoothie Bowl recipe to be enjoyed.
If you were a blackcurrant artist what genre of art do you think best represents you in your growing approach and why?

Modernist, maybe Banksy as we do things at night!