Shoppers ignorant of fruit 'n' veg season

Salisbury Journal: Hayley Campbell-Gibbons Hayley Campbell-Gibbons

THREE-QUARTERS of shoppers admit they don’t know when most British fruit and vegetables are in season, a new survey has shown.

However, the research suggests the majority of Brits would seek out home-grown produce if they knew more.

With this in mind, the NFU has launched a new mobile website, so consumers can find out exactly what to look for on the shelves when out shopping.

One in eight people also mistakenly believe that bananas and pineapples are grown commercially in the UK, with four in ten expecting to buy British peaches. The survey also revealed that only half of shoppers are aware that peppers, butternut squash and aubergines can be grown in this country.

NFU chief horticulture adviser Hayley Campbell-Gibbons said: “Of course we don’t expect shoppers to know exactly when the British seasons are for all fruit and vegetables.

“We can, however, arm them with the seasonality information they need to make informed decisions when out shopping. So, as part of the Farming Delivers for Britain campaign, we have launched the What’s in Season mobile website, which can be accessed on any smartphone. It’s an incredibly easy-to-use month-by-month guide to in-season British fruit and veg that consumers can refer to when out-and-about shopping or planning a recipe.

“Consumers have understandably relied on the supermarkets to tell them what’s in season by the food they stock on the shelves. With our mobile website they can find out for themselves when to expect to buy British. “Most importantly, if they can’t find it, they can now ask their supermarket why.”The What’s in Season mobile site can be accessed via mobile phone browsers at wis.farmingdelivers.co.uk. To save a link to the site on Apple devices, tap on “Add to Home Screen”.

Other findings include: 

  • 91 per cent of people were unaware that the British tomato season runs from February to October.
  •  70 per cent did not know broccoli is available between June and November.
  •  65 per cent of consumers were unaware that British strawberries are available from April to November.
  •  44 per cent know they can buy British asparagus in April, May and June, 13 per cent said all year round, with a further third saying they didn’t know.
  •  People aged 55-plus are more likely to know when British fruit and vegetables are available, compared to 17 per cent of 18- to 24-year-olds.
  •  Women are more likely than men to have this knowledge (28 versus 22 per cent).

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