The Mendoza region of Argentina has been tipped by many importers as one of the next potentially big suppliers of cherries to Europe.

The region’s stable climate means the sensitive crop faces minimal risks.

And the season from late October to December fills a natural gap in the supply calendar for many supermarkets aiming for year-round sourcing.

Cherries are among the most profitable products sold based on square footage and are also a major impulse buy.

The demand for already proven varieties such as Bings, now supplemented with new plantings of Garnet, Brooks, Celeste and Santina, is indicated by Mendoza last year shipping over 160,000 cartons overseas, 80% of Argentina’s total export.

n Scientists at HRI East Malling are testing new varieties of cherry which can be harvested beyond July, later than normal.

Initial results are being evaluated after a US fruit called Sweet September was crossed with some of the most recently planted English varieties,such as Lapins and Colney.