English strawberry growers have been hit by a double whammy of less than perfect weather conditions and a shortage of seasonal pickers from Eastern Europe, according to one senior industry figure.
Angus Davison, chairman of marketing company KG Fruits, said that sales of English strawberries so far this season had not reached the dizzy heights of last year.
On some farms the labour available was as much as 20% down, due to embassies and visa offices closing for holidays at a crucial time, he said.
And possible replacements from the enlarged European Union did not materialise.