Jam today and the day after thanks to pick-your-own boom

Pick-your-own farms report a 20% increase in visitors

Home jam-making - reported to be among the Duchess of Cambridge’s hobbies - is soaring, with ingredients suppliers reporting strong sales, while pick-your-own farms say they are enjoying the highest visitor numbers in a decade, thanks to the sunshine and abundance of fruit.

Distributor RH Amar said orders for Certo pectin, used as a gelling agent, were up 19% year-on-year in July as retailers responded to demand. And sugar supplier Silver Spoon said it had enjoyed a surge in sales of jam sugar.

“As a result of the excellent weather, we have seen a rise in the quality and affordability of fresh fruit,” said Silver Spoon marketing director Tony Lucas. “Consumers are taking advantage of the fruit harvest to produce jam as a simple and cost-effective summer recipe.”

Farm shop and pick-your-own trade body Farma said its members were reporting sales and visitors up 20% year-on-year, and growing interest in jam-making equipment and classes.

Farmer May Draper, of Pickwell PYO farm in Southampton, described 2013 as “the best season in 20 years”, while Paul Keene of Primrose Vale PYO farm in Gloucestershire said: “Our volume of business is back to what it was a decade ago.”

Rosemary Jameson of the Guild of Jam and Preserve Makers said: “People are simplifying their lives and I fully expect to see a rise in interest in jam-making.”