Top 25 UK Fruit Producers listing finds pre-pandemic production in good health

Horticulture Week’s annual Top Fruit Producers report tracks the biggest businesses by turnover in the UK fruit-growing sector.

The report provides a unique insight into the leading operators, setting out business activities and personnel.

The Top 25 reported a combined turnover of £616m in the 2021 report, up 12.1% from £549.3m in last year's ranking.

This broadly reflects growth outlined Defra’s horticulture statistics published last July, showing that the value of fruit in 2019 was £875m, up 9.7% on the previous year.

Fruit grown in the open accounted for the bulk of this rising 11% to £822m but glasshouse fruit decreased by 12% to £53m.

The balance of trade shifted further from 2018-19 as imports grew by 2.5% to £3.8bn and exports reduced by 0.6% to £155m. However, import production volumes fell once by 0.7% indicating a rise in prices paid. Meanwhile, export prices fell as volumes exported rose by 2.9%.

It will be interesting to see how exceptional spring and summer weather in 2020, labour shortages and global trade constraints partly caused by the coronavirus pandemic affect the data for 2020's trade, due to be published this summer.

Key crops

Defra data showed the value of desert apples went up by +12% and home produced apples increased the market share by 2% to 39%. This compares to a decrease in the value of culinary apples of -13% due to falling yields and cider apples of -9% due to oversupply.

Pears did better increasing value by +46% and increasing market share a further 2% to 20% largely due to higher yields.

Cherries saw the biggest increase in value going up by +57% in 2019.


The Horticulture Week Top 25 UK Fruit Producers listing is compiled from exclusive research by HW, with information from listed companies as well as publicly accessible sources, including Companies House, company websites and social media. Where turnover figures are estimated, they are based on figures published in the 2020 listing.

The full listing is available to HW subscribers only.

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