Tesco says the promise it gave last season to ensure that English apples and pears were given greater prominence in its 1,880 stores is bearing fruit.

Martin De La Fuente, senior buying manager for fruit, said at the Grower of the Year event (see right) that this year its English share ­accounted for 35% of all English apples and pears sold.

This includes half the Gala grown and a substantial proportion of Braeburn, which were direct replacements for imported fruit.

"We are committed to the English industry and have delivered against our promise. It is a marathon, not a sprint, so we are here for the long haul."