Raymond Blanc

British Apples & Pears will be working with renowned chef Raymond Blanc to launch the 2020 season.

Known for his passion for championing local produce, Blanc will be working with BAP to support the start-of-season campaign, which will launch on 5 October and encourage consumers to choose British.

The news was announced at BAP’s annual trade event on 19 May 2020, an online conference hosted by social enterprise Beanstalk.Global.

Blanc said: “I have long been passionate about British produce and particularly British apples.Many years ago I was involved in an apple tasting which truly opened my eyes to the unique flavours each one offers, as well as to the fantastic growing conditions in this country.We grow some extraordinary produce here, and it is now more important than ever that we champion that which is home grown.As Maman Blanc always said, choose food that is close to home – it is not only more nutritious, but it tastes better! I look forward to working with British Apples & Pears to spread this message.”

The online event was chaired by BAP chair Ali Capper, joined by industry representatives including Ross Goatham (AC Goatham & Son), Tony Harding (Worldwide Fruit), James Simpson (Adrian Scripps), Ben Bardsley (Bardsley England) and James Smith (Loddington Farm).

Capper said: “We were delighted to be able to run our trade briefing in this virtual format. It gave us a great opportunity to be able to share our confidence in this year’s British apple and pear crop. The discussions were very positive and instilled confidence in our industry, as well as a clear vision and strategy for the future.

'The panel engaged in stimulating discussions surrounding the prominent topic of labour shortages, latest technological developments, impact of Covid-19 and what the future looks like for our businesses as the British apple continues to win market share and the consumer’s hearts across the nation.

“This year is challenging in many ways, but our farmers and growers are very resilient. It is shaping up to be a good growing season and we are thrilled to be partnering with Raymond Blanc to increase consumer demand for British apples and pears. This all means that whatever the challenges, we will deliver a full crop to our retailers and delight the British public.”