- 11 July 2012
It is strawberry season in the UK, but the British weather is doing its best to put a damper on things, but it is not as bad as would be expected.
Laurence Olins, Chairman of British Summer Fruits, which represents 90 per cent of berries supplied to UK supermarkets, said "There is ample supply of British strawberries now and for the rest of the summer."
"20 years ago the crop would have been decimated by the inclement weather over the past few months but thanks to two decades of investment in protective covers this summer’s crop has been safeguarded from the recent weather problems. There are in fact more strawberries on supermarket shelves than this time last year and we will not be importing fruit as we have plenty of British strawberries available."
According to Andrew Grantham from SA Produce this year's strawberry season in the UK is "interesting".
But despite reports of major flooding and disease in the sector, the production is, "not too bad, the weather is having a big impact and certain crops are lagging, but as we grow totally under cover and table top we have not been affected by floods or the cold."
He goes on to say that prices in the supermarket are around normal for this time of the year at around £2 for 400g.
2011 was a bumper year for British strawberries and the earliest season ever due to a very warm April which brought the crop forward. 4,969 hectares of strawberries were grown, up 45% since 2001 (DEFRA).
Last year 49,591 British strawberries were sold in supermarkets – up 20% yoy and berries topped supermarket fruit sales in August 2011 – beating apples and bananas for the first time.
British berry sales have more than doubled in 10 years, 2011 sales reached £277K. The British strawberry season is likely to last until October.