"I have had to farm out interviews to growers, who have without exception said yes - they've been brilliant," he added. "It's important they are heard too, not just me."
The crop is forecast to be around 160,000 tonnes, with Barlow describing appearance and eating quality as "looking extremely good, with crunchy, juicy, flavoursome fruit".
Barlow added that he is "always asked" in interviews about the lack of availability of traditional British varieties, and explained: "Consumers want apples that are sweet, juicy and colourful, and it's the newer varieties that better meet that demand. Old English varieties don't match up, though there is still a small niche market for them."