Sweet times for blackcurrants

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Michael Barker

BY MICHAEL BARKER

@michaelbarker

Sweet times for blackcurrants

Ideal growing conditions have produced a vintage blackcurrant crop, benefiting both Ribena and other markets

Sweet times for blackcurrants

Blackcurrant chairman Jo Hilditch (centre) with farm manager James Wright (left) and harvest team, at Whittern Farms in Herefordshire

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British blackcurrant growers have hailed a sweeter than usual crop this year on the back of vintage growing conditions.

The British blackcurrant season officially began on 26 June, with growers’ organisation The Blackcurrant Foundation predicting a crop yield of 12,000 tonnes. That is two weeks earlier than the average harvest period. 

The dry winter, coupled with warm weather seeing temperatures top 30 degrees in early June, bought forward the crop and created the ideal growing conditions, resulting in a higher than normal Brix levels. 

Blackcurrant Foundation chairman Jo Hilditch said: “This season’s blackcurrant production is excellent and the increased natural sweetness in our berries is welcomed by our client Ribena. We are focused on maximising the sweetness and taste of our berries to let the consumer enjoy the natural goodness of British blackcurrants."

Some 95 per cent of the UK crop is sold to Ribena, with a small amount found on supermarket shelves and in other products including frozen formats and other soft and alcoholic drinks.

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