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Tesco Expects Record Amount Of English Apricots

Published on Jul 12 2017 11:45 AM in Fresh Produce tagged: Tesco / UK Retail / apricots

Tesco Expects Record Amount Of English Apricots

UK retailer Tesco has announced that it expects a record amount of English-grown apricots to be available in its stores this summer.

Around 180 tonnes of fruit are expected to be picked, which the retailer says is the largest amount ever grown in the UK.

Strong Demand

Tesco says that the UK demand for apricots rose by 75% in 2016, making it one of the most popular fruits in the country.

“The arrival of great quality English apricots over the last few years has helped to invigorate the demand for this stone fruit,” said Tesco stone fruit buyer Karen Bee.

“The English variety is every bit as good as imported apricots and joins the ranks of British strawberries, cherries, apples and pears, as some of the best quality and tasting fruit grown in the world."

Growing Conditions

Apricots usually grow best in continental climates with cold winters and without spring frost. Because of cooler temperatures, English apricot production was long thought not to be possible.

However, the arrival of apricot cultivars or tree hybrids bred especially for climates like the UK’s has made English production possible. Because apricot trees still need a lot of sunshine, all the production is located in southern counties.

“This year we have had pretty much perfect growing conditions with a cool winter needed to allow the trees to rest, a warm spring and lots of summer sunshine with a bit of rain in between,” said Nigel Bardsley of Bardsley Farms in Kent, a partner supplier to Tesco and the UK’s largest apricot grower.

In recent years, the number of UK producers commercially growing apricots has doubled to eight.

© 2017 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Larissa Zimmer. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.

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