Sainsbury’s has claimed a fresh produce first by becoming the first UK retailer to source grapes from Zambia.

The retailer started selling the Prime White and Flame Red seedless grape varieties in about 200 stores today (14 November), priced at £2.35 for a 500g pack. They will be on sale for four weeks.

The grapes are grown by supplier Khal Amazi in a valley outside the Zambian capital, Lusaka. Khal Amazi is a long-standing supplier to Sainsbury’s, having supplied roses for the past six years, but this is the first time the company - and the country - will be supplying grapes.

“This is the first year our grapes will be exported and, in fact, it’s the first grape export for Zambia, so we’re excited to see how customers respond to our fruit launching in Sainsbury’s stores,” said MD Greg Barnes.

Sainsbury’s tropical fruit buyer Finbar Cartlidge said Zambia was an exciting new source of grapes for the retailer and would help it “join together grape seasons” at a complicated time of year for grape supplies. “We’re always looking for new products, meaning our customers have more choice and offering more fresh fruit all year around,” he added.