Strawberry madnessRSS feed

Posted: Tuesday 10 July, 2007

by Dan at 10:07pm in Growing 6 comments Comments closed

I'm away in London at the moment, and since I was out somewhere nice for lunch I've just grabbed a sandwich from Marks and Spencer for my supper. (As an aside having access to M&S is a luxury, since Alloa doesn't have one and isn't likely to for some time. Their food is quite expensive, but it is pretty darned tasty.)

Anyway, they had strawberries at half price so I bought a punnet, half for after my sarnie and half for breakfast tomorrow. I didn't check where they were produced, totally assuming that they'd be British.

Well, I'm back at my hotel tucking into them only to discover they are from the USA! And were air-freighted!

I'm absolutely staggered by this - M&S used to have a reputation for supporting British producers in all aspects of their business - and here we are in July, when most British strawberry growers will be approaching peak production, and M&S are flying fruit thousands of miles across the Atlantic. I despair. It's not even as if they taste that good...



Wednesday 11 July, 2007 at 10:23am

very disappointing, but my strawberys have been dessamated by the extreme wet and cold weather. the water logging has caused most to rot. maybe m & s are having supply problems from uk growers. good job my raspberrys have been fantastic.


Wednesday 11 July, 2007 at 1:06pm

That is so sad but not surprising. We're lucky enough to be surrounded by berry farms (blairgowrie area) and went to pick strawbs and rasps at the weekend, they were delicious! I know a lot of the berry farmers around here supply M&S, maybe they're keeping the scottish berries in the Scottish stores, who knows.......? you'll have to try Stirling M&S on your return and see if they're Scottish or not.......

Enjoy London.



Wednesday 11 July, 2007 at 3:36pm

You have to watch retailers like a hawk ... somehow, airfreighted soft fruit is at least understandable, if not excusable - but I found last winter that I had bought some onions airfreighted from south America ... the place of origin was in very small letters, and I had to ask how the onions had got here. But who wants to eat food with jet lag?




Friday 20 July, 2007 at 5:44am

My golly! Were they even fit to eat? Is your area having poor fruit and berry crops this year? I can see different countries helping out each other under certain circumstances, but I sure would be curious as to the real reason they did not use from your own farmers FIRST????? Plus, that is a real good way of introducing BAD insects or diseases from country to country. Central Oregon is having our Pine trees ate up right now by a beetle called the Japenese Beetle; that was brought into our area via piggyback from Japan. Not good. Good Luck!I just hope the strawberries from here were darn HEALTHY!!!

Richard Perton

Friday 27 July, 2007 at 2:03pm

I get furious about importing things from vast distances unnecessarily, but I must stick up for M and S on this occasion. The main Strawberry season in the uk is in June and production tails off considerably in mid July. Even ever-bearers like Elsanta have a lull and don't become really productive again until late August or early September.

The recent weather has been bad even for tunnel-grown fruit as damp conditions and moist air creates ideal growing conditions of botrytis and other diseases. the lack of sunshine also slows down fruit production.

It may be better for them to say "sorry, no strawberries", but I think that would just cause customers to go elsewhere.


Sunday 29 July, 2007 at 11:22pm

I still dream of the strawberries I ate while living in the UK. I've not had their like since. So sorry to hear they are sending the crappy watery things we grow here to you. The closest I've been able to find are the little wild mountain berries that grow here in the spring.

We have nothing like a Cox's Pippin either. Tried to plant them on my place but the goats got to them.

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