Jessica Ennis Hill Olympic Berry Gardens

Former Olympic & World Champion Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill signs up to encourage the North-east to get “berry healthy” this summer.

Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill has been announced as the new face of … a range of premium berry varieties.

The former athletics star and face of the GB Olympics 2012, Olympic Champion, triple World Champion, has signed up to become the official ambassador of Zara strawberries, Victoria Sweet blackberries and Maravilla raspberries.

All these varieties are grown by Castleton Farm in Fordoun, Aberdeenshire and supplied into many of the UK supermarkets, including Tesco and Marks & Spencer.

Castleton Farm is a member of Berry Gardens, a co-operative of leading British berry growers which has partnered with Ennis-Hill.

The aim is to encourage people to actively consider the specific berry varieties as part of their healthy eating plans.

Tastiest

Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill said: “I ate berries as a child, as an athlete and still do now, as a mum of two energetic kids.

“As a berry lover, I know that not all berries are equal and Zara strawberries, Victoria blackberries and Maravilla raspberries are the tastiest berries I have tried.

“And they’re grown right here in the UK by our hugely talented and passionate growers.

“They are packed full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and anthocyanins.

“These are great for brain, eye, heart, gut and skin health as well as helping reduce inflammations and boost immune systems. What’s not to love?

“In Britain today, I think everyone accepts we have a job to do to educate people on the benefits of not only being active but also in eating healthily.

“As we emerge from Covid, there has never been a better time for everyone to revisit their diet and find ways to improve their overall health and wellbeing.

“When we look for snacks, nutritious tasty foods such as Zara strawberries, Maravilla raspberries and Victoria blackberries are a winner.

“They’re all low-cal, low-fat, low GI and great for you. And that’s whatever kind diet you follow – whether full carnivore, flexitarian, pescatarian, vegetarian, vegan or entirely plant-based.

Explore

“As we start to have a little bit more freedom to go out shopping or to have people round for meals again, albeit in our gardens for now, it is a great time for people to explore healthier choices.

“And when better than choosing or making meals or snacks. For example, you can use sliced Zara strawberries in salads, Maravilla raspberries in smoothies and Victoria blackberries in shakes and protein balls.

“While, like so many of us, I do use berries in baking, I am also a huge fan of adding them to smoothies, or on yogurt or porridge and my children love them as a snack.

“They are so tasty and packed with vitamins and goodness.”

Berry nutrition

Nick Allen, CEO, Berry Gardens said: “Our premium berry varieties are grown in fields here in the UK and tirelessly looked after by some of the world’s best growers, as a result they are packed with flavour and nutrition.

“Who better to encourage Brits to embrace the very best, high-quality British berries as a delicious every-day health food than the nation’s sporting sweetheart, Dame Jessica!

“We’ve made this decision now as the country emerges from a difficult period and is focusing on health, and wouldn’t it be good if Jess encouraged more of our sports stars to lend their weight to supporting healthy, fresh food?”

Olympic endorsement

Ross Mitchell from Castleton Farm said: “We are proud of the work, skill and passion that goes into growing & picking the high-quality and super-healthy, nutritious berries which we supply to UK supermarkets.

“We hope that with endorsement from Dame Jessica we can showcase just how good our berries are for you.

“It gives people yet another reason to add British berries to their healthy eating plans, and in turn, making a real difference to the nation’s health and wellbeing.”