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From orchard to outlet: The green quest of British apples

The UK's Apple & Pear association (BAPL) is broadening its current Farming Innovation Pathways project. This move is primarily to study the environmental effects of apples grown in the UK.

The initiative, named "Advancing Top Fruits Towards Net Zero," has garnered financial backing from Innovate UK. This support will enable a comprehensive examination of the apple distribution process and its subsequent environmental repercussions.

Cranfield University has taken on the responsibility of scrutinising the entire life span of the British Gala apples. This includes evaluating the environmental effects during cultivation, storage, and the transportation phase leading up to the distribution centres for consumers.

In the subsequent phase of this initiative, additional collaborators have been brought on board. These newly inducted partners will collaborate closely with established entities like CHAP, Hutchinsons, Adrian Scripps, and the University of Edinburgh.

The research endeavour was set into motion in June 2022. Anticipations are high, with results projected to emerge within a span of 12 to 24 months. Upon the culmination of the project, findings will be consolidated and showcased in a report tailored for industry stakeholders.

Ali Capper, the executive chairperson of BAPL, expressed her sentiments on the project, stating, "The significance of this initiative for the top fruit sector cannot be overstated. The growing concerns of supermarkets and consumers regarding carbon emissions are entirely valid.

"Our aim is to provide a tangible measure of the carbon footprint associated with British apples. We believe that this will offer yet another compelling reason for individuals to rally behind this segment.

"In spite of the daunting market challenges our cultivators confront, our unwavering commitment lies in fortifying the future prospects of British apple and pear farms. It's this dedication that fuels our enthusiasm for initiating such a pivotal research endeavor."


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