Wales achieves UK soft fruit first

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Martyn Fisher


Wales achieves UK soft fruit first

First British strawberries are available a week earlier than usual, with growers on the outskirts of Cardiff one step ahead of the rest

Wales achieves UK soft fruit first

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Thanks to a generally mild winter, growers in the UK have produced their first homegrown strawberries around one week earlier than usual.

The appearance of these berries, which were due to arrive in the distribution centres of retailers such as Tesco across the UK, also marks the first time ever that Wales has produced the UK’s earliest strawberries, ahead of other major producing regions including Kent, Sussex and Hampshire.

The variety of strawberry in question is called Lusa, an early-season variety licensed from Driscoll's and produced by Berry Gardens member grower Haygrove in the Rhymney Valley, near the Welsh capital Cardiff.

The variety was selected, a spokesperson for Berry Gardens said, because of its consistent, sweet taste.

The early appearance of British strawberries in the supermarkets this weekend is set to coincide with a burst of warmer weather that could boost consumption of the fruit.

Temperatures are expected to be notably higher in parts of central and southern UK, reaching 17°C in places, thanks to warm air coming across the Atlantic from Bermuda.

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