Sandy Booth, Managing Director at Brokenhurst-based New Forest Fruit has commented that the recent cold weather, which is the longest cold spell he has experienced at this time of year in 20 years, is delaying some soft fruit crops by up to two weeks.
“We are already 50 per cent through our glasshouse production which is right on target for the time of year,” he said. “Our French Tunnels however are two weeks behind, but the Everbearers are running to normal timing. The warm days are good, the cold isn’t, but it is good for the flavour and Brix. Sizing and flowering are good, but not as good as it has been in the past.”
All of the company’s fruit production is under cover, with glasshouses providing early and late crops and polytunnels doing the bulk of the main season. Sandy added that UK strawberry demand is currently “very good.”
Photo Caption: While greenhouse strawberry production is on target, cold weather means that French tunnels are around two weeks behind normal.