The sunniest UK spring on record has led to a bumper crop of extra sweet British strawberries with many growers reporting yields up by around 20%.
It's also been a good year for other soft fruits. Love Fresh Cherries, Britain’s largest representative trade body for British and imported cherries in the UK, said consumers will be able to buy home-grown cherries a whole week earlier than in 2019 as crops have been coming on slightly faster through this year’s warm spring.
As a result of the extra availability, Tesco has announced it will snap up an extra 300t of British-grown strawberries to prevent the crop from going to waste on farms.
The retailer has also announced plans to introduce a new larger punnet 1kg punnet size to encourage customers to stock up.
The supermarket's berry buyer Laura Mitchell said: “The fantastic UK weather and extra sunshine so far this spring has brought on British strawberries faster than expected with many growers seeing production 20% higher than normal for this time of year.
“And it’s resulted in exceptionally good quality and sweet strawberries with sugar levels boosted by the plants enjoying the longer, sunny days.
British strawberries have a great reputation for being the best in the world because of our perfect growing conditions and the extra crop we have just bought are classic – sweet, juicy and luscious.
The extra sunshine contributed to bumper strawberries right across Britain including Kent, Essex, Sussex, Hampshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Lancashire, Scotland and Wales.
Phillip Busby (pictured top), of Busby Partners, Chilcote, Warwickshire, has supplied Tesco strawberries for over 25 years.
He said: “Tesco is helping the growers move excess crop, saving on food waste and with quality being so good it’s a really great offer for their customers.”