The growing awareness of the provenance of foods and the preference to buy British has hampered the expansion plans of French fruit grower Blue Whale, particularly when it comes to apples.

"There is a lot more pressure now from English-grown apples as retailers look to stock UK-produced foods," says commercial director Sylvain Brard. "The currency situation hasn't helped, either, with the strong euro and weak pound compounding the situation, and it is becoming harder to compete.

"The UK has always been known for being the most demanding market in terms of quality but this is no longer the case - now it's all about price."