Above-average spring sunshine for most of the UK helped British raspberry growers

A particularly sunny spring saw the British raspberry growing season start three weeks earlier than usual.

The warm weather created ideal conditions for raspberry plants to thrive, said British Summer Fruits.  

All UK regions, apart from Northern Ireland, exceeded their average amount of sunshine with 473 hours recorded across March, April and May, according to Met Office figures. It means homegrown raspberries are already available in all major supermarkets.

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“Normally the UK is self-sufficient with raspberries by the third week of June, but we had already started to reach those volumes by the beginning of June,” said British Summer Fruits chairman Nick Marston.

“Thanks to growers interchanging between primocane and floricane varieties, which fruit at different times, we will now be self-sufficient until the autumn.”

In 2018, the British raspberry season continued until the end of October thanks to a cool, sunny September.

Raspberries are currently the fastest growing berry on the UK market, with value sales up by 15.7% [Kantar 52 w/e 19 May 2019].

This compared to a 12.3% increase in sales for blueberries, an 8.6% increase for strawberries and a 6.6% increase for blackberries. 

The berry industry grew by 10.8% in the same period, pushing its value over £1.4bn.

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