English-grown Cheerfull Gold aims for sale breakthrough

A Kent grower used the National Fruit Show to unveil vibrantly coloured apple variety Cheerfull Gold.

Chittenden Orchards partner John Breach, who first raised the apple from seed 32 years ago, described it as a "through-and-through English apple", unlike other recently introduced var- ieties. It also has "fabulous looks and taste", he added.

The apple, a cross between a Cox Orange Pippin and a Golden Delicious, has a distinctive red-and-gold skin and keeps until summer. Breach said the variety is being grown on 2,300 trees at his Staplehurst orchard and elsewhere in Kent, Sussex, East Anglia and the West Midlands.

"Supermarkets are aware of it and are watching what happens," added Breach, who chairs the British Independent Fruit Growers Association.

"The marketplace is crowded, but if they want an apple that's English raised and grown and that they can sell through to May and June, it's a good import substitute."

Breach said licensing arrangements for growing Cheerfull Gold were 15p per tree per year, with no money-up-front clauses or royalty payments.

The official launch for the variety, marketed as "flavour to cheer for", included a tasting promotion at a regional cheerleading event in Eastbourne, East Sussex.

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