Bing to start with a bang

Poor weather has delayed harvesting of California Bing cherries but supplies are on course to arrive in early June, the California Cherry Advisory Board has confirmed.

Jim Culbertson, manager of the CCAB said: “The crop is looking good athough the majority of it has been delayed by at least three weeks. By the end of last week, mild and sunny weather had finally arrived and the mood of the industry reflected this turn around in the weather.”

Fruit is still at various stages of growth but the cherries will be exported in small quantities from the start of June, with larger volumes arriving from June 7-20, continuing into the first week of July.

CCAB members expect to increase sales in the UK following a disappointing 2005 season, when wet and cold weather reduced exports to the UK by some 50 per cent on the previous year.

However, British retailers who managed to obtain supplies reportedly did very well.

Neil Gordon of CCAB’s UK representative, NMG Consulting, said: “California Bing commands a premium price and leading supermarkets use it tactically by creating attractive in-store displays at the entrance to the fresh produce section.

“Leading UK supermarkets, including Waitrose, M&S, Tesco and Sainsbury’s, say they will be stocking Bing in selected stores and we are providing in-store support with tastings and POS material.”