The mild winter and warm spring have combined to create one of the earliest seasons for maincrop strawberries in the UK for some time, as favourable weather has speeded up flowering and ripening.
According to trade body British Summer Fruits (BSF), berries have the biggest market share of all fruit grown in the UK with 24.5 per cent of the market (valuing the berry industry at more than £1.4 billion. During the past year, more than 131,000 tons of strawberries were sold in the UK, with shoppers spending more than £653 million on the classically British berry – an increase of 9% from 2018.
BSF chairman Nick Marston said, “Ongoing innovations in our industry including the introduction of great new varieties of berries delivering sweetness and flavour has meant that we can now offer shoppers the freshest, highest-quality British berries for nine months of the year.” Aldi claimed to sell the first UK strawberries this year, with crop in stores in February.
Aldi claimed to sell the first UK strawberries this year, with crop in stores in February.
“We have had fresh strawberries in stores since late April thanks to our innovative Tiptree Growing System,” commented joint managing director of Essex producer Wilkin & Sons, Chris Newenham. “This is two weeks ahead of the fruit grown on table tops under Spanish tunnels. New techniques have enabled us to extend the strawberry growing season, that was originally six weeks in high summer, to more than six months. Our fruit is grown for the fresh fruit market; it is made into traditional conserves and used in our range of Tiptree fruit gin liqueurs.”
Photo Caption: Favourable weather has helped bring this year’s strawberry season forward
Photo Credit: pxhere