"Pretty much perfect" conditions lead to biggest ever UK apricot crop

Tesco has said it expects to sell record volumes of English-grown apricots this summer.

Nigel Bardsley - image: Tesco
Nigel Bardsley - image: Tesco

The UK's largest supermarket was the first to start selling English grown apricots, having been in partnership with Kent fruit grower Bardsley Farms since 2010.

Tesco expects to sell 180 tonnes of fruit this summer.

Overall UK demand for apricots has risen 75% in the last year, Tesco said.

"The arrival of great quality English apricots over the last few years has helped to invigorate the demand for this stone fruit," according toTesco stone fruit buyer Karen Bee.

"The English variety are every bit as good as imported apricots and joins the ranks of British strawberries, cherries, apples and pears , as some of the best quality and tasting fruit grown in the world."

Newer apricot cultivars flower later so are able to cope better with the British climate. But the estimated eight UK growers are all located in Kent or the Isle of Wight, among the UK's warmest and sunniest areas.

Bardsley Farms director Nigel Bardsley said: "This year we have had pretty much perfect growing conditions with a cool winter needed to allow the trees to rest, a warm spring and lots of summer sunshine with a bit of rain in between."

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