BRITAIN’S cider harvest got underway last week – a month earlier than usual.
Warm spring weather is said to have kick-started the growing season which this year is expected to yield a bumper crop, with 200,000 tonnes of apples set to be picked in the next ten weeks.
Almost half of all apples grown in the UK are used to make cider and thousands of acres of new orchards are said to have been planted in the last 15 years to keep up with growing demand for the drink.
Gabe Cook, spokesman for the National Association of Cider Makers, said an early harvest is an encouraging sign for the industry.
“Whilst cider makers are always happy to see the apples start to arrive, as an industry we track what happens and when to evaluate the impact of climate change as it presents real opportunities and risks to what we do,” he said.
“We are expecting a good harvest and we are especially pleased to see new orchards being harvested after the investment in planting and the time it takes to establish a new orchard.”