The way to enjoy better relationships with the multiples is to know far more about the customer base in addition to crop expertise, David Hughes, professor of marketing at Imperial College, told growers at Fruit Focus this week.

He said that in the past the industry had often “been led by the nose by 24-year-old buyers”.

Today, he said, “you should know more about the retail shopper than the retailers and you will be able to enter into conversations from strength”.

This position would be enhanced by the growth of proprietary ownership of varieties which would prove the salvation of the industry by moving it away from its commodity image.