The UK is primed for a strong cherry season, with around 6,000t of home-grown British cherries predicted to hit supermarket shelves this year, broadly similar to last year’s bumper harvest.

The figures are from Love Fresh Cherries, Britain’s largest representative trade body for British and imported cherries in the UK.

Consumers will be able to buy home-grown cherries from the end of June, with this year’s British cherry harvest expected to begin a week earlier than in 2019 thanks to crops coming on slightly faster through this year’s warm spring.

British cherry industry body Love Fresh Cherries is predicting good availability for both retailers and consumers throughout the British Cherry season.

Favourable conditions over the winter months have led growers to anticipate not just a sizable crop, but a high-quality crop across most varieties too.

Despite the unusually warm weather in spring, a few late frosts in May, are expected to have an impact, particularly on the Kordia variety.

Matt Hancock, spokesman for Love Fresh Cherries, said: “There has been a well-publicised cherry shortage across Europe this year.

"So, with all signs showing an extremely healthy British crop forecast, it means not only can we supply the retailers and consumers of the UK, but all over Europe as well, allowing us to remain competitive in the global market.

It is now down to the weather in late June and July as to whether we can realise this estimate, but all indications are positive for a strong British cherry season.

Despite the unique challenges presented by Covid-19, the cherry industry, via Love Fresh Cherries, confirms that its growers are in a positive frame of mind in regards to picker availability and have already seen a strong public response to the call for action for local pickers across the industry.

Love Fresh Cherries is Britain’s largest representative body for British and Imported cherries in the UK.