Estimated 20 per cent increase in strawberry production

The warm weather has resulted in a bumper crop for strawberry farmers – with 2020 on track to produce one of Britain’s biggest ever hauls.

And in more good news, the sunshine will make the berries sweeter than previous years.

Record levels of sunshine in recent weeks have led to an estimated 20 per cent increase in strawberry production, according to Tesco.

he excess crop has allowed the supermarket to keep down the price of British-grown fruit, offering 2.2lb (1kg) boxes from Friday for £3.

Laura Mitchell, a buyer for Tesco, said: ‘The fantastic weather and extra sunshine so far this spring has brought on British strawberries faster than expected, with many growers seeing production 20 per cent 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.’

As a result of the increased availability, the supermarket has bought an extra 300 tons of British-grown strawberries. Grower Phillip Busby, of Busby Partners in Chilcote, Leicestershire, 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.’

The extra sunshine has contributed to increased strawberry crops across Britain, including Kent, Essex, Sussex, Hampshire, Staffordshire, Leicestershire, Lancashire, Scotland and Wales.

Paul Avery, sales director at suppliers Berryworld UK, said: ‘The British strawberry crop is in great shape this year and it’s on track to be one of the biggest ever. The quality is superb and we’re working hard to bring an iconic piece of summer to the British public.’

Last month was the sunniest April on record, according to the Met Office, with the Isle of Wight seeing the most sunshine.

The country received an average of 224.5 hours of sunshine during April, comfortably beating the previous record of 211.9 hours set in 2015.

Source: Daily Mail