Retailer harvests six million apples thanks to this year's weather swings

Over six million apples have been picked across Kent
Over six million apples have been picked across Kent

The summer’s heatwave has helped produce an early apple crop of over six million apples - a 12% increase year-on-year - for a leading retailer.

Following a freezing winter and scorching summer, Asda has worked with its growers to ensure each orchard is getting the most out of the unusually warm weather conditions.

Over six million apples have been picked, 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.

And now growers across Kent, covering a total of 20,000 hectares, have used this year’s heatwave to grow better-quality apples.

Apple blossoms

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.

As demand for British-grown produce continues to grow, retailers are challenged with looking at ways they can provide locally-sourced fruit year-round.

Richard Pemble, Apple grower who supplies Asda said: “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.”