Warmer winter and spring mean an early summer…

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British strawberries are now on supermarket shelves in abundance.

The British strawberry season has started earlier this year, after a warmer winter and spring have helped to speed up strawberry flowering and ripening. Strawberry lovers can enjoy their favourite British fruit right now, available to buy in supermarkets across the UK.

This summer, there are new strawberry varieties to enjoy including the large and delicious Malling Centenary, bred In Kent by the UK national berry breeding programme. Centenary has rapidly become the mainstay of early to mid-season British strawberry production and is proving as well-loved by consumers as it is by growers.

Berries have the biggest market share of all fruit grown in the UK, making up an impressive 24.5 percent, and this has pushed the value of the berry industry over £1.4 billion[i]. Fresh berries are now the most popular fruit item in shoppers’ baskets.

During the past year, more than 131,000 tonnes of strawberries were sold in the UK, with shoppers spending more than £653million on the classically British berry – an increase of 9% from 2018. Consumption of fresh raspberries has increased by 17% and blueberries by 14%.[ii]

Dr Emma Derbyshire, British Summer Fruits’ public health nutritionist, explained: “Berries are a fantastic healthy snack that offer numerous health benefits. Not only is the whole strawberry rich in antioxidants, but the red fleshy part is abundant in Vitamin C. In fact, eating just nine strawberries (108g) can provide all of your recommended daily vitamin C intake.
Nick Marston, Chairman of British Summer Fruits, the industry body that represents 95 percent of berries supplied to UK supermarkets said: “Ongoing innovations in our industry including the introduction of great new varieties of berries delivering sweetness and flavour, and advanced growing techniques such as large-scale glasshouse production for season extension, has meant that we can now offer shoppers the freshest, highest-quality British berries for nine months of the year.”

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