Launching the start of the Irish strawberry season, the Irish Food Board reported a dramatic increase in both consumption and crop acreage in the Republic.
This summer Irish consumers are expected to eat €20.5m worth of Irish strawberries, almost double the figure of four years ago, and frequency of purchase was up 13% last year. Increasing demand was reflected in an expansion of the fresh market crop to 178ha, close to a doubling of the size five years ago.
Irish Soft Fruit Growers’ Association chairman Gary McCarthy claimed that growers were producing “bumper crops of the highest quality and safety standards”.
He cited a “weatherproof” variety as an important development for Irish growers.
This plant, he said, was able to withstand the wetter and colder climate of Ireland without any loss of yield.