Dutch varieties get earlier Availability of Dutch heated glasshouse strawberries is getting earlier with the development of new varieties such as Lambada and Karola. A further type, Primera, being grown exclusively by a group of 12 Dutch producers, is on trial and was on display at the Greenery International exhibition this week. The first fruit has begin to arrive on the UK market but will have to compete with the Spanish crop, which is reaching its peak. Dutch strawberry exports to the UK have been increasing, however, and are up by 400 tonnes on 1998 to reach 3,400 tonnes last year. "This year, early Northern European soft fruit crops grown under cover have benefited from a mild winter and good light conditions," said Graham Blake, (above, centre) md of importer AFI. "We estimate that everything is running about three weeks early and have even had a sighting of the first English pickings." {{FRESH PRODUCE }}