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In Video: Cherry pickers start to harvest 6,000-tonne British crop

Producers say the warm spring means they can start to pick a week ahead of normal.

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Steliyana Cherneva was among the pickers at at AC Hulme and Sons Farm in Kent (John Nguyen/PA)

Steliyana Cherneva was among the pickers at at AC Hulme and Sons Farm in Kent (John Nguyen/PA)

Steliyana Cherneva was among the pickers at at AC Hulme and Sons Farm in Kent (John Nguyen/PA)

A bumper crop of cherries is predicted in a year where the Covid-19 pandemic has caused anxiety over food supplies.

Volunteer pickers have helped bring in the harvest, with cherries expected to appear on shelves by the end of the month and producers optimistic of a sales windfall.

The warm spring means that the harvest is getting under way a week ahead of usual, with around 6,000 tonnes expected to reach supermarkets.

Love Fresh Cherries spokesman Matt Hancock said the British boost came at an ideal time with a shortage of cherries in Europe, adding: “With all signs showing an extremely healthy British crop forecast, it means not only can we supply the retailers and consumers of the UK, but all over Europe as well, allowing us to remain competitive in the global market.”

PA