Record-breaking spring sunshine boosts British strawberry crop

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Sizzling spring weather has been great news for strawberry farmers – with 2020 on track to produce one of Britain’s biggest ever crops of sweeter-than-usual fruit.

According to Tesco, record levels of sunshine in recent weeks have led to an estimated 20% increase in strawberry production.

The excess crop has enabled the retail giant to keep down the price of British-grown fruit, offering 2.2lb (1kg) boxes from Friday for £3.

Strawaberry crops
Strawberry grower Phillip Busby, of Busby Partners, at the producer’s farm in Chilcote, Leicestershire (Tesco/PA)

“And it’s resulted in exceptionally good quality and sweet strawberries with sugar levels boosted by the plants enjoying the longer, sunny days.”

As a result of the increased availability, Tesco has bought an extra 300 tons of British-grown strawberries.

The extra sunshine has contributed to increased strawberry crops across Britain, including Kent, Essex, Sussex, Hampshire, Staffordshire, Leicestershire, Lancashire, Scotland and Wales.

Paul Avery, sales director at suppliers Berryworld UK, said: “The British strawberry crop is in great shape this year and it’s on track to be one of the biggest ever.

“The quality is superb and we’re working hard to bring an iconic piece of summer to the British public.”

Soft fruit exports
(Adam Davy/PA)

The country received an average of 224.5 hours of sunshine during April, comfortably beating the previous record of 211.9 hours set in 2015.

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