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Apple Day – why you must buy British apples

Posted by Gilly Pollock on October 25, 2014
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Are you aware of the biggest issue for British apple growers?  Find out how you can help.

I was at the National Fruit Show last week in Kent and it was a delight to see the splendid display of dessert apples on show. Kent has a long tradition of apple growing and the show was set up by the Marden Fruit Show Society in 1933 by several of the leading growers to invite the buyers from Covent Garden to see the range of apples to their buyers. Sadly the buyers no longer come down in the numbers they would have done, and have been replaced by supermarket buyers whose requirements are quite different. The After-Show event takes the competition fruit “on the road” as part of the Society’s aims to educate the public about British Fruit. In previous years the show fruit has been displayed and sold at RHS Wisley, Ampleforth Abbey, Chatsworth House, Lakeside Shopping Centre and the Yorkshire Live event in Harrogate.

The biggest issue being discussed at the show was the price of dessert, eating apples, which has plummeted this year and having a very negative impact on growers bottom line. The issue is not in this country but in Russia. It actually starts in Poland,  which are huge apple growers, who have been selling the majority of their crop to Russia. But since the conflict in the Ukraine the Russian’s are no longer buying apples from Poland which has resulted in a glut of apples in Europe, which in turn has seen a significant drop in prices for British growers. One grower told me that the price has gone to just £60 a tonne for apples where as a year ago they were reaching £160 a tonne.

So on behalf of the farmers who grow some of the finest fruit in the world, please can you all take action and only British apples and  drink British fresh apple juice, not from imported concentrate. Our growers REALLY do need your help.

When you hear of people being all nostalgic about orchards, please remember that the primary reason why orchards exist is to provide food for our tables and wholesome healthy drinks such as apple juice, and of course cider! If there isn’t a market to sell our fruit then we could see the loss of more orchards in Britain, even if they are the commercial intensive style, rather than traditional orchards, but they all have a place in our countryside.

So if you love to see orchards and smell the aroma of apples in the air at harvest time, then join the campaign and ” Buy British Apples”!

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