UK cox apples

Sainsbury's was the top retailer of English top fruit last season

Sainsbury’s and its supplier AC Goatham & Son has joined forces with the Festival of British Fruit to celebrate on the weekend before National Apple Day on 19-20 October.

Goatham’s Gore Farm and BarnYard farm shop, garden centre and restaurant is hosting an open day to show the public the workings of a commercial apple and pear farm and highlight not only the large variety of top fruit available from Kent, but also their high standard.

The Festival of British Fruit was first introduced in 2009 as part of the National Fruit Show (NFS)’s post-show public event. Sarah Calcutt, NFS chair, said: “The Festival of British Fruit will be one part of the larger event at The BarnYard. We are delighted to be able to bring the fruit from The National Fruit Show as well as growers and experts to explain the different heritage and flavour of both traditional and new varieties. Visitors to the National Apple Day event will be able to taste and buy fruit from the National Fruit Show.”

The Sainsbury’s team will stage cookery demonstrations with a mobile kitchen using apple recipes inspired by the local Kentish apples. They will also provide family-fun events for children including face-painting and pumpkin-carving.

Dr Theresa Huxley is apple and pear technologist at Sainsbury’s, which topped the table in sales of English top fruit last season, selling 200 million pieces of fruit. She said: “At Sainsbury’s we’re extremely proud to be the number-one retailer of British apples and pears for the fifth consecutive season, selling 64 different varieties and accounting for one in four of all apples bought in the UK. Supporting the UK farming industry is of the utmost importance to us, and we’re delighted to be involved with the National Apple Day event at Gore Farm this year.

'The event gives members of the public the opportunity to come and meet local Sainsbury’s produce colleagues from stores in Kent and also meet Sainsbury’s growers so they can see for themselves the way in which Sainsbury’s supports local growers. As we start a new season, we’re delighted to announce that we’ll be offering our customers even more home-grown apples and pears with 68 varieties throughout the year.”

Norman Collett Ltd, Chingford Fruit Ltd and Worldwide Fruit will also be at the event, which will feature an apple-juice bar and National Fruit Show prize-winning apples and pears for sale.