This year the National Fruit Show was held in the new Maidstone Exhibition Hall. When I saw the bright, colourful and beautifully displayed fruit in the centre of the hall I couldn’t help but ask myself “why is fruit not sold like this in supermarkets rather than in their cheap, plastic, hard to read packaging?”
South East NFU Chairman, William White, told growers that since 1990 there has been a 26% reduction in fruit production in the UK and although consumers are eating less fruit, they are increasingly choosing British produce. However, cheap imports are still posing a threat with a whopping 476,000 tonnes of apples brought into the UK every year.
Online shopping could be partly to blame for a decline with less consumers going into a shop and being swayed by the sight or smell of a beautiful punnet of British strawberries.
The importance of promoting the industry to not only the public but also to new entrants was also highlighted. Although a daunting prospect for some, I cannot say enough how useful social media, websites and blogs can be to educate, inform and entertain readers and raise awareness for the every day challenges and perks of being a grower.