It’s therefore encouraging that UK farmers have increased volumes of these fruits and our location – the Garden of England – leads the way.
UK farmers are growing predominantly for the retail market. Strawberries are the largest red fruit grown and you will see ‘British’ fruit in the supermarkets from February through to August.
However, for industrial supply the window is much smaller – sufficient quantity to supply both retail and industry is only harvested at the ‘peak’ of the season. Fourayes receives the vast majority of strawberry through May/July and if during this period the weather is too hot, too rainy, too cold then issues can arise.
The main ‘red fruits’ are strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, sour cherry, sweet cherry, blackcurrant, blackberry and redcurrant. Europe plays a big part in supply with Poland being number one grower and currently crops look good.
The good news is that UK farmers also see these as products for the future and Fourayes is well positioned to take advantage of this situation. There is one possible issue: if UK farmers get so efficient in production and distribution into retail then availability for industry could be reduced. In the past approx. 10% went to industry if this is reduced to 5% then this could have some repercussions.
So, in conclusion, at the time of writing, the supply of red fruits should be without major issue with UK and European supply (subject to Brexit) being sufficient.