Nearly 20% of Brits are not aware that apples are grown in the UK, new research has suggested.

In a survey of 2,000 adults commissioned by sustainable farming group Linking Environment and Farming (LEAF) 19% of people did not know British farmers grew apples – rising to 35% for those born in the 1990s.

Some 63% of those surveyed did not know British farmers grow blueberries, while 50% did not realise UK farmers grow strawberries. 

Knowledge of the UK’s veg and salad growing was similarly poor, with 21% unaware UK farmers grow carrots, 29% not knowing British farmers grow cauliflower and 37% unaware they grow iceberg lettuce.

In general, knowledge of what is grown in Britain was significantly worse among those born in the 1990s compared with those born in the 1950s, according to the survey.

People born during the 90s were 1.5 times less likely to know British farmers grow strawberries (64% compared with 93%), while just 27% of those born in the 90s knew British Brussels Sprouts could be bought in December (compared with 73% born in the 50s).

Meanwhile, 16% of adults born in the 1990s believe British farmers grow oranges, and 8% believe bananas a grown in the UK – a fact described as “alarming” by Annabel Shackleton, manager of LEAF’s Open Farm Sunday initiative.

The organisation is set to open almost 400 farms to the public this Sunday (8 June) to celebrate British farming and food and raise public understanding of UK farming.

“A number of initiatives are being run in schools to help improve children’s knowledge, but it seems adults could do with some lessons too,” said Shackleton. 

“The agricultural industry is worth billions to the British economy, so it’s important that we know what homegrown produce to look out for when shopping.”