The English apple season will be supported with a health message, focusing on the fruit’s benefits for fighting asthma.

Speaking at the English Apples and Pears annual dinner to mark the start of the season, chief executive Adrian Barlow said the organisation was spreading the word to consumers that English top fruit was back and good for you.

He said the crop was above average this year and sugar levels were excellent: “They are higher than they have been in the last 10 years, so taste overall this year will be very good.”

He said that this season English Apples & Pears would be marketing around 1,000 tonnes of English Braeburn and although Bramley suffered some frost damage, there would be enough to meet retailers’ demands, although the manufacturing sector might be affected.