According to Tesco Real Food, the heat wave that has hit Britain this spring has led to the biggest and best crop of English Strawberries for 20 years, so say the growers. English Strawberries are considered to be the best in the world, and there is currently a glut of these juicy beauties. This will result in UK retailers importing an estimated 50% less that usual.
The experts have said that the warmer than usual weather in March and April has produced ideal growing conditions which has resulted in the crop being ready 2 weeks earlier than was expected. The extra sunshine has increased the sugar levels too, which makes this bumper crop much juicier and sweeter than usual.
Paul Jones, the Strawberry buyer for Tesco said that the unexpected but very welcome great weather had resulted in an abundance of the best quality and sweeter than usual English Strawberries, of the standard that was associated with the Wimbledon fortnight.
“As the quality is so high we’ve taken far more of the English crop than we usually do at this time of year.
“From the start of May we will be predominantly selling just English strawberries and the need not to import Spanish imports allows us to keep the price down.
“This is fantastic news for the English strawberry industry and should see them getting an unexpected windfall from increased orders from UK retailers.”
One of England’s largest strawberry growers, R and V Emery, which is based near Southampton, Hampshire, said it was the earliest start to the English strawberry season for about 20 years.
Vernon Emery, who runs the business with his brother Richard, said: “Our production yield is up by 150 per cent on recent years and if the good weather continues and we get some rain too we could be heading for a record year.
“The extra warmth has helped boost sugar levels but equally important have been good levels of light which have helped the fruit set and encouraged bees to pollinate the plants.
“The great weather has also been consistent without dips in temperature which would have hampered the quality.”
Since the start of the English strawberry season Tesco has sold 50 per cent more home grown strawberries than it did over the same period last year.