- Product Manager - United States
- Sales Manager
- Account Manager
- Aweta Sales Director Italy and Spain
- Junior Account Manager - Central Europe
- Post-Harvest Quality Manager - Avocado
- Senior Technical Lead - Beamsville (ON) Canada
- General Manager - Buswa, Uganda
- Head Grower - Jordan (ON) Canada
- KAM DE/AT/IT/BE/NL - Valencia, Spain
Top 5 -yesterday
Top 5 -last week
Top 5 -last month
UK: Apple prices set to soar as harvest goes pear-shaped
Growers say their orchards have been blighted by frost, rain and hailstorms, meaning this year’s crop will be dramatically reduced – and prices significantly higher.
Experts expect the price of a 2.2lb bag of apples to rise in supermarkets from £1.69 to at least £1.89 this autumn – and to over £2 by Christmas.
Favourite home-grown varieties such as Cox’s Orange Pippin and Braeburn have been most affected. Last year, 20,000 tons of Braeburn were grown in Britain, but this year the projection is for 12,000 tons.
The shortfall in Cox’s Orange Pippins is not yet known, but growers believe it could be down by a third from last year’s 31,000 tons. Home-grown Bramley cooking apples are also expected to be in short supply.
Although the season started well, with blossom appearing during the March heatwave, trees were hit by exceptionally cold nights in April and May, and were also battered by heavy rain and hail. The cold temperatures and lack of sunshine also deterred the emergence of pollinating insects such as bees.
Fruit farmer Andrew Jackson, from Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, said it was his worst apple crop in 50 years.
He added: "We had lots of blossom in the March heatwave. Then we got the cold and wet at the end of April and early May and in two weeks we had 7in of rain instead of the usual half inch. The blossom needed warm sunshine for the fruit to set but on May 5 we had three hailstorms and the fruitlets dropped off."
The shortage is compounded because importers are unable to top up supplies with apples from the north of Europe because growers in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany and the Netherlands have suffered the same problems.
This means supermarkets and importers across the Continent will compete for supplies from Spain and Italy.
Peter Davis, who runs fruit importers Davis Worldwide, warned: "The shortages will be noticeable in the winter as we won’t have enough English apples that can be frozen and which would normally come out of storage from November to March. Prices will go up to £1.99 or more than £2 for kilo bags."
The crisis was raised by the trade marketing body English Apples and Pears Ltd at a meeting in London last week.
Adrian Barlow, its chief executive, told The Mail on Sunday that English apples would arrive late in the shops this year.
"The very first English apples, the early variety known as Discovery, were on sale on July 23 last year, but this year it will be well into August," he added.
"The main crop will also be three weeks late and apples will be in stores at the end of September or October instead of early September."
A spokeswoman at Sainsbury’s, which sold the most English apples last year, 27 per cent of the total crop, said: "Volumes are likely to be lower this year but a change in the weather could improve the situation."
Apples that do survive the unseasonal spring should, however, be bigger than normal.
Instead of a typical two-and-a-half-inch diameter, apples are expected to be about three-and-a-half inches.
This year’s larger size is due to the lower number of apples on a tree.
Most growers would expect to get 100 or 120 apples from a tree, but the 2012 yield is down to about 35.
Receive the daily newsletter in your email for free | Click here
Other news in this sector:
- 2021-09-20 Possibility of new hectares for Candine apples
- 2021-09-20 One more month to go before the end of the Sicilian peach and nectarine campaign
- 2021-09-20 Incorporating post-harvest technology to table grapes
- 2021-09-20 Serbia: Apple harvest starting in coming weeks
- 2021-09-20 World peach and nectarine production for 2021/22 is forecast to edge up slightly to 21.8 million MT
- 2021-09-20 Apple prices in Belarus are among the highest in the region due to government regulation
- 2021-09-20 Russia sharply increased imports of watermelon from Uzbekistan and Turkey, setting a new record
- 2021-09-20 South Korean consumers' interest in expensive, unconventional fruit prompts farmers to switch crops
- 2021-09-20 Mexico meets 77% of the domestic demand for apples
- 2021-09-20 Alfred E. Chave adds apples and pears to its range
- 2021-09-20 Berries "save lives" thanks to the "very high level of health and wellbeing" they help attain
- 2021-09-20 The 6th International Berry Congress' conclusion: a common challenge towards sustainability
- 2021-09-20 Swedish organic farmers struggle to sell their apples
- 2021-09-20 Hoogstraten launches first strawberry marketing campaign in the UK
- 2021-09-20 Arizona welcomes sizable organic apple crop for 2021
- 2021-09-17 "Peru will have 20,000 hectares of blueberries in 3 years and it will consolidate its leadership in world exports"
- 2021-09-17 Chilean fruit exports total 5,296 million FOB dollars between January and August
- 2021-09-17 Accumulated number for 2021/2022 season at 52 tons up until now
- 2021-09-17 Andalusian blueberry fills niche in the international market
- 2021-09-17 Even workers from the Caribbean, Kenya and Nepal helped to pick fruit in Norfolk