Speaking at EAP's AGM in Kent last month, he told growers that home-grown fruit accounts for just 30 per cent of the UK market but there is continuing increased demand for English produce.
Already sales of Gala apples to multiples up to 21 March have risen by more than 25 per cent, from 31,200 tonnes last season to 39,300 tonnes. "We are probably going to finish it at the end of this year so there's still potential to increase production," said Barlow.
Meanwhile, growers are finding ways to overcome the biennial nature of Braeburn, which has also seen a promising 17 per cent increase in multiple sales, to 16,900 tonnes, he said.
But he warned: "We desperately need prices improving for growers, otherwise we will not see continued investment, which is so essential."