British Apples & Pears Limited (BAPL) recently held its annual trade event. Chaired by broadcaster and Countryfile presenter Charlotte Smith, the webinar featured a panel of British growers including Ali Capper, Executive Chair, British Apples and Pears; Tom Hulme of A.C. Hulme & Son, James Goldsworthy of Bardsley England; Tony Harding of Worldwide Fruit Ltd and James Simpson of Adrian Scripps Ltd.
During the webinar, BAPL spoke openly about the unprecedented labour and inflation issues facing the industry and the need for wider support from the supply chain to help growers in the face of these challenges. The panel stressed the need for growers to be able to make a profit in order to invest in the future of the crop and in sustainable farming to protect the industry and their environment.
This year, the British apple and pear season will officially begin on Monday 3 October to tie in with the strong consumer demand at that time for British apples and pears. The promotional activity will focus on three key themes; heart health, affordability, and sustainability. Given the cost of living crisis, affordability is an important focus this year, with the apple being one of the best value-for-money fruits which stores excellently in the fridge, resulting in less food waste.
The webinar included a special message of support from Raymond Blanc. For the third year, the renowned French chef will be championing British apples for their taste and flavour, reinforcing the importance of buying British at the core of his messaging.
Ali Capper commented: “2022 is set to be one of the toughest ever years for growers and the webinar was an important opportunity for us to highlight the issues ahead and speak directly to the industry. The country is experiencing a hard time financially and the rate of inflation in costs is one that growers have not seen before in their lifetime. The good news is that we have the opportunity to build on self-sufficiency and increase the sales of dessert apples sold in the UK, so now is the time to work together, supporting growers and committing to the future of British apples.