Tesco expects a record amount of English-grown apricots to be available in its stores this summer

Tesco expects a record amount of English-grown apricots to be available in its stores this summer

 

CHESHUNT, England, 2017-Jul-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Apricot lovers are in for the sweetest of summers this year, after Tesco announced it expects a record amount of English-grown apricots to be available in its stores over the summer season.

Apricots flourish in continental climates with cold winters,  but without spring frosts. So traditionally they have grown in countries like Spain, France, Morocco, Turkey and Iran.

Tesco were the first UK retailer to start selling English grown apricots and started working on a production partnership with one of the UK’s largest stone fruit producers from Kent back in 2010.

With the first of the season’s English apricots about to hit Tesco stores this week, there’s great news with an incredible 180 tonnes expected to be picked over the summer- the largest amount ever grown in the UK.

Tesco stone fruit buyer Karen Bee said:

“Apricots are fast becoming one of the summer fruits of choice across the UK. Bursting with flavour, our English apricots are really sweet, have a beautiful orange blush and are firm yet juicy – everything that a classic apricot should be.

“The English variety are every bit as good as imported apricots and joins the ranks of British strawberries, cherries, apples and pears , as some of the best quality and tasting fruit grown in the world.

“The arrival of great quality English apricots over the last few years has helped  to invigorate the demand for this stone fruit.”

In the last year UK demand for apricots has rocketed by an unprecedented 75 per cent, making it one of Britain’s most in demand fruits.

Apricot trees still need a lot of sunshine and as a result all the production at the moment is in the southern counties, with growers based either in Kent or the Isle of Wight.

Until the late noughties English apricot production was not thought possible because of our cooler temperatures.

But the arrival on the market of apricot cultivars or tree hybrids bred especially for climates like the UK’s, that would flower later in the spring, have made English apricot production possible.

Nigel Bardsley, of Bardsley Farms in Kent, a partner supplier to Tesco and the UK’s largest apricot grower said:

“This year we have had pretty much perfect growing conditions with a cool winter needed to allow the trees to rest, a warm spring and lots of summer sunshine with a bit of rain in between.”

The number of UK producers commercially growing apricots has doubled in recent years to eight.

We are a team of 480,000 in 11 markets dedicated to serving shoppers a little better every day.

For more information please contact the Tesco Press Office on 01707 918 701     

Source: Tesco

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Bumper crop of English apricots set to soar six fold enough to supply Tesco for the whole of the summer

CHESHUNT, England, 2015-7-10 — /EPR Retail News/ — England’s fledgling apricot production is set to soar six fold with a bumper crop this summer, thanks to near perfect growing conditions.

The first English apricots of the season went on sale on Monday and growers are reporting great quality fruit.

And early estimates are that English growers will produce approximately 200 tonnes – enough to supply Tesco for the whole of the summer.

It’s a massive increase on the 30 tonnes that were grown in England last year when the first English apricot crop became available.

And it is likely to encourage other stone fruit growers who until now have been hesitant to invest in apricot production.

The arrival of the English variety should be heralded as good news by British shoppers who in the last year bought 33 per cent more apricots than the previous year, according to latest data from retail analysts Kantar.

Tesco stone fruit buyer Henry Maulik said: “Thanks to the great weather the quality of English apricots this summer is very good. The apricots we’ve tested this week are juicy and rich but firm with a nice blush.

“Last year was the first time that growers produced a sufficient quantity of English apricots and the feedback from shoppers on the quality was fantastic.

“We’re very proud of the quality of these English apricots and believe that one day they could even be as renowned as British strawberries, cherries, apples and pears.”

Until a few years ago it was very hard to grow apricots on a commercial basis in the UK because of the climate and careful breeding has made this possible.

Tesco’s English apricots are produced by one of the UK’s largest stone fruit growers, Nigel Bardsley, whose farm is based near Staplehurst, in Kent.

Tesco started working on the project with Nigel five years ago with a view to launching major scale English apricot production.

Nigel, a Tesco supplier for more than 25 years, enlisted a team of experts comprising breeders, agronomists and growers to create a production plan which culminated in the planting of eight hectares of orange fleshed, French type apricots.

After visiting French growers a few years ago Nigel planted 5000 apricot trees across eight hectares of land and the first commercial quantities were produced last year.

Nigel said: “We’ve had near perfect growing conditions so far this year with a cold winter to help let the trees rest; a mild spring to allow for good pollination and a warm, dry summer so far to boost growth. This combined with a unique large day/night temperature differentiation, has led to fantastic red blushed and incredibly sweet apricots.

“Last year was the first time that we had a commercial quantity and I produced around 15 tonnes.

This year weather permitting we anticipate producing up to 120 tonnes which means that the English apricot industry is well and truly on its way.”

For more information please contact the Tesco Press Office on 01992 644645
We are a team of over 500,000 people in 12 markets dedicated to providing the most compelling offer to our customers.

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Bumper crop of English apricots set to soar six fold enough to supply Tesco for the whole of the summer

Bumper crop of English apricots set to soar six fold enough to supply Tesco for the whole of the summer