Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 13°C

Search

Suffolk/Essex/Norfolk: Early ripening strawberry crop reaches supermarket shelves

PUBLISHED: 12:34 23 May 2014 | UPDATED: 12:34 23 May 2014

Andrew Sturgeon is pictured in Lindsey with his early crop of strawberries.

Andrew Sturgeon is pictured in Lindsey with his early crop of strawberries.

Archant

A mild spring has prompted an early show of local strawberries this year, with the East of England Co-op taking its first deliveries direct from the fields of growers in Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk.

Andrew Sturgeon is pictured in Lindsey with his early crop of strawberries. Andrew Sturgeon is pictured in Lindsey with his early crop of strawberries.

Supplier Andrew Sturgeon, of Lindsey Farm Lodge, near Hadleigh, said the weather in March and early April was “particularly favourable”.

“The result is we are about three weeks earlier than last year,” he said.

East of England Co-op’s local and fresh food manager Kevin Warden said: “Our Sourced Locally strawberries, which come direct from the farms into their nearest stores within 24 hours of picking, are always popular. This year, it’s great news for our customers that the season has started earlier than ever – and that we’ll be holding last year’s prices.”

“We now have local strawberries delivered direct to 90% of our stores which keeps our four local growers on their toes right through the summer because we sell punnets of strawberries almost as fast as they get delivered!”

Andrew Sturgeon is pictured in Lindsey with his early crop of strawberries. Andrew Sturgeon is pictured in Lindsey with his early crop of strawberries.

Andrew sturgeon will be delivering two varieties of strawberry, Elsanta and Sonata, to 35 Co-op stores, including the Co-op’s three new stores at Lavenham, Risbygate and Darsham. Andrew’s nearest store is at Hadleigh, under five miles from his farm, where strawberries can be in shoppers basket’s within four hours of picking.

Andrew said: “With any fruit the freshness decreases rapidly after picking and so the fact our strawberries go direct from farm to store means the fruit is as fresh and tasty as it can be and still has a wonderful strawberry aroma.

“All our fruit is grown to high standards, both in terms of fruit quality, food safety and care for the natural environment in which we operate. Our punnets display both the ‘LEAF’ and Assured Produce ‘Red Tractor’ labels.”

At Fiveways Farm in Colchester, Julian Mead will be supplying 20 Essex stores with three varieties of strawberry: Vibrant, Sonata and Serena.

Julian said: “This year the crop is three weeks earlier than last year which, as well as being good news for customers, also helps growers by spreading demand over a longer period which generally results in better quality of fruit in store. All fruit is early this year – for instance this will be the first year that we will be able to deliver raspberries to East of England Co-op stores in May.”

An 88-year-old man who died following a road collision in Barton Mills has been formally named as former referee Charles McCulloch, of Seymore Street, Cambridge.

Essex Police are appealing for information to find a man they want to speak to in connection with an assault.

A 37-year-old man from Witham who was reported missing while visiting friends in Edinburgh has been found safe.

Paramedics’ efforts to treat a blind RAF veteran who suffered a severe stroke at his Sudbury home were “severely hampered” by a large metal fence, it has been claimed.

A 72-year-old who ignored a child abduction warning notice from police and continued to see two teenage boys has been given a restraining order.

Two new coordinators tasked with helping to bring a two-year pilot health project to Haverhill have been appointed.

John Lewis, BBC iPlayer and Sony have scooped the top three spots in a UK ranking of consumers’ perception of quality and reputation.

Most read

Eating Out in the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Eating Out
supplement

View

Visit the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Visit the Broads
supplement

View

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24