The first British strawberries of the year arrived at an Aldi store in Hereford last Thursday, continuing the remarkable trend of getting the sweet tasting treats on shelves during the winter months.
Thanks to growing innovations, warmer climates and efforts from suppliers, the consumer favourite is showing up in punnets in supermarkets in February instead of its traditional June arrival.
“There’s always a buzz around when the first British strawberries will be picked and using advancements in growing techniques, we’re able to become one of the first to harvest our fruit,” said John Lloyd, who owns a farm in the Vale of Glamorgan that has been a key supplier for Aldi for more than seven years. “We’re really proud of these strawberries. They’re a great example of fine British produce. We’re delighted to get them to fruit lovers as early as possible.”
The Elgin store in Hereford was the first to receive the strawberries, which it says were picked just one day before they arrived, and Aldi says it plans to roll out thousands more to its other stores soon across the UK.
Aldi said it is making a bigger commitment to buy British products over the next few years, including fresh fruits and vegetables.
‘We’re increasing the amount of food and drink we buy from British suppliers by £3.5bn a year, which will create even more opportunities for British food and drink producers,” Julie Ashfield, Managing Director of Buying at Aldi, said. “Working so closely with these wonderful British growers lets us bring our customers the freshest, British produce and respond quickly to what they want.”