Agrexco, Israel’s major fresh produce exporter, is planning to fly in its spring stone fruit crop by air for the first time in years to meet growing demand.
UK manager Amos Orr said he expected apricots to begin to arrive the first week of May in far larger volumes than usual. UK export programmes could reach 500 tonnes this year.
Apricots would be followed shortly by peaches, nectarines and plums. The effect of cold weather on the Spanish crop had created an extra window for Israel before the start of the main European season.
Meanwhile, Israeli seedless grapes will be available two weeks earlier. Orr said: “We are expecting a substantial increase in volume to the UK - up 50% to more than 5,200 tonnes. The first fruit should arrive about the third week of May.”
More early fruiting vines are now being grown under plastic in Israel’s Negev desert.