The UK strawberry season has got off to an early start with fruit from Haygrove’s farm near Cardiff and the Hall Hunter Partnership in Sussex vying to be recognised as the first homegrown soft fruit of the year.
It is believed to be the first time that Wales has beaten more traditional production areas such as Kent and Hampshire to the first crop. The Welsh fruit of Lusa, an early variety from Driscolls, was marketed by Berry Gardens in time for the warmest weekend of the year so far. Laurence Olins, chairman of British Summer Fruits, said the early start to the season was due to high levels of sunshine.
However, it has been a different story across the Channel. According to reports low light levels have delayed the French harvest by an average of two weeks. “Retailers are willing to pay good prices right now because the fruit offered is at a minimum,” said Maxime Laclaverie of the Rougeline group earlier in March. “So the price is very good.”