Trade organisation British Summer Fruits says that UK growers are set to harvest 4,500 tonnes of cherries this year, making this year the most productive season in more than 30 years.
However, despite this demand for home grown cherries still outstrips supply. The growth in production is reported to be down to dynamic young growers who have tapped into the burgeoning demand for British cherries. Record sales this year could exceed £32 million, with demand continuing to grow.
MD of cherry producer Haygrove, James Waltham, said, “Thanks to a combination of great varieties which are better suited to the UK climate, year-on-year performance of cherry orchards in general is far more consistent than it used to be, bringing greater yield and superior quality fruit.
“The British cherry season is also growing. Where it once lasted barely two months, the season now extends from early June until early September; thanks both to new varieties and modern growing systems, particularly the use of polytunnels.”
Tesco cherry buyer Tom Emmett commented, “Shoppers prefer British cherries as they’re considered to be amongst the best in the world – not only the richness of their taste but also the juiciness of their flesh and overall texture. Nothing beats a British cherry.
“It’s all about availability – if we can get British grown cherries then we know our shoppers will buy them. They are extremely popular and one of the absolute joys of summer.”