Conference pears from the UK could soon be on supermarket shelves all year-round, after a leading English grower managed to supply them for 12 months running for the first time.

Last week, Kent-based Adrian Scripps supplied Tesco with Conference pears which had been harvested in the first week of September 2009. The company is now going to speak to retail buyers to find out whether there is a demand for a year-round supply of this season's crop.

Although Conference pear-growing countries on the Continent, such as Spain, Italy, Belgium and Holland, are able to offer a 52-week supply of the fruit, UK supply is typically limited to eight to 10 months.

Scripps matched European growers this year because of improved strorage practices and a strong 2009 Conference crop, which was conducive to long-term storage, said James Simpson, managing director of Adrian Scripps.