generic cherries

UK fruit growers will be the principal suppliers of cherries to the domestic marketplace in the next 10 years, according to Berry Gardens MD Nick Marston, speaking at Fruit Focus.

He stated that, as part of the grower co-operative’s strategic plan, crops are in place with the potential to supply the market with 100 per cent UK cherries from mid-June to September. He hopes it will earn a premium for the fruit, especially at the start and end of the season.

Berry Gardens oversees 250 acres of cherry production in the UK and is planting up to 45 acres a year.

Marston said at the event at East Malling Research on Wednesday: “In cherries, we will come to a tipping point like we did in the 1990s with strawberries where the UK will be principal supplier to the UK market and we see ourselves as one of those main suppliers.

'There is no reason why we can’t produce cherries from June into September in the UK from Kent to Scotland. The market is very much like blueberries used to be; at some point in the year there is no supply from anywhere. We will be self sufficient within season in eight to 10 years.'

Marston also said that he was enthused by the support received from the major multiples during this UK cherry season.

He said: “Marks & Spencer and Waitrose served 100 per cent UK stock during the cherry season and all the supermarkets showed the UK season significant support.'