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Apple Day 2013: CPRE seeks justice over juice

21 October 2013

A huge variety of tasty English apples can be found at farmers' markets like Ely's A huge variety of tasty English apples can be found at farmers' markets like Ely's © Niall Keay

To mark Apple Day 2013, CPRE is calling for shoppers to support local growers by checking where their juice comes from before they reach the check out.

Fruit and juice facts:

•    The UK still only produces around 10% of the fruit we eat compared to around 55% of vegetables. The UK imports £2.6 to £2.7 billion of fruit each year;

•    Just over a third of the apples we chomp through in England every year are home-grown (38%) despite the fact that temperature and rainfall levels provide an ideal growing climate so that English apples have a fuller flavour than many imported varieties; and

•    Research by Zenith shows that orange juice on the shelves outnumber apple juices by over 4 to 1 (orange juices 54% of fruit juice flavours to 13% apple juice)

Our local fruit producers will benefit from more support: the area of land growing apples (England and Wales) has flat lined since 2003; according to Natural England we have lost 75% of our traditional orchards since 1950. We need to get out and buy the best of local apples but also try seeking out some of the superb varieties of apple juices.

Graeme Willis, Senior Food and Farming Campaigner at CPRE, said:

‘You could eat a different UK apple variety each day for six years without trying the same one twice. It's mad that orange juice is the king of breakfast juice when we have so much home-grown produce available.

‘Despite having the ideal climate we import most of the apples we eat and all of the orange juice we drink. We want people to try one of the many superb English apples first. Before plumping for the usual and imported Golden Delicious or a Granny Smith, search out just some of the varieties grown here. The range of flavour is amazing: Discovery, Cox, Russet, Bramley's Seedling, Malling Kents, or something a bit unusual like the Ribston Pippin which has just come in to season.

‘Most of all think twice before reaching for the same old carton of imported orange juice or an imported apple. Your taste buds will thank you, as will English apple growers.'

Take action: Support local food by taking up our 30:30 challenge

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