Mild weather benefits stone fruits in UK
Though there are quality concerns about some of the UK’s major crops, fruit buyers last week announced that a bumper crop of British cherries, high in quality, with “bigger and juicier” fruit has led Tesco to take on ten percent more this year.
The supermarket giant took 810 tonnes of the fruit from UK growers in 2016, compared to 750t in 2015.
Tesco’s buyers said that cherry production in Scotland - where the growing season lasts for a further two weeks (well into September) after Southern England’s comes to an end - means it will be stocking home grown fruit for longer this year.
On top of this, British apricots have found their way onto Tesco’s shelves this year; the supermarket has worked with one of its fruit suppliers to develop UK-grown apricots in recent years.
Grown on 5,000 trees in Kent, the apricots are a late-flowering, specially developed variety that are better suited to the English climate, where growing the fruit commercially was formerly too risky due to their traditionally flowering around March. ■