Pink Lady flies sky high UK supermarket demand for Pink Lady, the new international apple variety being grown in California is so strong that fruit is being flown in to meet programmes. Currently it is being sold at around £1.49p/lb. Between eight to 10 packers are shipping the apple this season in association with Saphir Fruit, part of the Albert Fisher group. For the rest of the season, which extends until March, the crop makes a three day journey to the east coast, and takes around a week to arrive arrive a British port. Stuart Buchanan, sales and procurement manager of importer of Saphir, says the distance creates no problems as the variety travels well and is shipped at 0degC, the same holding temperature used when the crop is harvested. Kenton Kidd, president of the state's Apple Commission, said: "Pink Lady represents the bright spot in this season's Californian apple crop. The UK will be receiving the best of the best." Other varieties which put California in the top four national producing regions are Fuji, Gala and Granny Smith. From only 25,000 bushels produced in 1996 mainly in the San Joaquim and Cuyama valleys, the current Pink Lady harvest is expected to increase at least tenfold, with the UK programmed to take around 100,000 cartons. {{FRESH PRODUCE }}