Canned fruit sales overall may be in decline, but the value end is very buoyant report importers in the midst of new season peach negotiations. Last year there were carryover stocks which enabled UK buyers to strike early deals. This year prices are 10% higher in Greece, the main supplier, and Spain. With fewer canners, uniform pricing frustrates importers used to playing one supplier off against another. Value labels are as low as 9p a can ­ why volume is up but value remains static. Critics of such prices point to the indifferent quality as a reason for customer dissatisfaction, but retailers argue good value for money encourages a wider customer base. "People are buying the product and using it as a cooking ingredient," said one retail food economist. If this is the case, so called cheap canned fruits could enjoy a resurgence. {{M/E CANNED GOODS }}