Driscol Straw 2

Driscoll's Solero variety

Berry Gardens is optimistic ahead of the launch of several new strawberry varieties as the UK's summer fruit season gathers pace.

The UK soft fruit producer and cooperative, which achieved group sales of £207m (€242m) last year, says the varieties will arrive in supermarkets in both high volume and quality.

New varieties include the strawberries Flair, developed by Dutch grower Flevoplant; Vibrant, which was produced by East Malling Research; and several Driscoll's varieties including the large sized strawberry Solero.

Alastair Brooks, vice-chairman of Berry Gardens, says the new varieties provide an opportunity to extend the production season for British strawberries to begin earlier and end later in the autumn.

He said: 'This year we are very excited about our tasty strawberry crop. Our expectations are for excellent volumes of exceptional fruit with a planned extension to our growing season.'