As the early season gets under way, Adrian Barlow, chief executive of English Apples and Pears, has warned that volumes of Discovery are so low that a replacement must be found.
Discovery is the main English apple available for the next month before Cox arrives.
However, the crop forecast is just 2,000 tonnes, with poor growing conditions to blame.
“As our impact on the retail shelf lessens in August and early September, it will be a great pity as an industry if we cannot find a variety which can provide high quality,” said Barlow.
Cox is due to be picked in the second week in September, he added. “It is not large, but there is a good finish and size, and so prospects of good returns.”