The summer’s heatwave has helped produce an early apple crop of over six million apples – a 12% increase year-on-year.
Following a freezing winter and scorching summer, Asda has worked closely with its local apple growers to ensure each orchard is getting the most out of the unusually warm weather conditions, picking over six million of the nation’s favourite fruit, taking advantage of the early harvest to fill fruit bowls throughout the cooler months.
After 2017’s cold, rainy summer hit British apple crops hard, this year sees a more robust yield of sweet, crunchy apples, with Asda’s growers across Kent using this year’s heatwave to grow quality apples for customers.
Covering a total of 20,000 hectares of orchards, Asda’s British apples span popular favourites including the mild, pink Gala, crisp golden Russet, red dessert Windsor, and the orange-red Cox.
Mike Rudge, Asda Apple Technologist, comments: “Whilst the heatwave wreaked havoc on a number of fruit and veg, we worked closely with our apple growers to leverage the sizzling days to ensure we harvested our apples at the perfect moment, ensuring optimum ripeness and quality.
“Apples are an essential autumn staple in every home, so we’re glad the weather has been kinder to us this year, giving us the opportunity to work with growers to provide customers with apples for every occasion – whether as lunchbox fillers or warming pies.”
The freezing conditions at the start of the year also meant British apples flourished this year, with the cold weather delaying the blooming of apple blossoms, protecting them from frost when they did finally emerge. This, coupled with consistently sunny days throughout summer, has helped boost sugar levels in the fruit, delivering tasty apples throughout the season.
Mike continues: “As the demand for British-grown produce continues to grow, we’re challenged with looking at ways we can provide locally-sourced fruit year-round, working with our expert growers to cultivate quality produce grown on British soil.”
Richard Pemble, Asda Apple Grower, comments: “Apples are undoubtedly one of the nation’s most-loved fruit. This year, thanks to the prolonged sunshine we had throughout summer, our apples have an incredible sweetness, unrivalled by any since the turn of the century.
“The unique growing conditions of Kent make for the perfect spot for producing British apples, shielded from harsh winds and seeing long periods of sunshine, allowing us to provide customers with crunchy, juicy apples.”