According to the latest forecast from the World Apple & Pear Association, Europe is in for a bumper apple crop this year.
Speaking at the recent Prognosfruit conference the WAPA’s Philippe Binard said that larger crops in Poland, Italy, France, Portugal, Slovenia and the Czech Republic would more than compensate for declines in Germany, the Netherlands, Romania, Hungary and Greece.
Total apple production in the EU is estimated to be 11.97 million tonnes this year, with the pear crop at 2.34 million tonnes. Although down 5 per cent on last year’s figure, the apple figure is still 11 per cent above the five-year average. Traditionally popular apple varieties such as Golden Delicious, Red Delicious and Idared will see falls in production, while more recent introductions like Fuji and Pinova are on the rise.
In the UK, the latest figures from English Apples & Pears show that Sainsbury’s is the top retailer of English apples and pears after selling 42,000 tonnes this season. Of the 26 different apple varieties, and six pears, that Sainsbury’s sold, Gala remains the most popular, accounting for almost a third of the store’s apple sales.