Apple growers in Kent were forced to remove their orchards due to financial losses


Kent apple farmers are tearing up their orchards in response to stagnant fruit sales.

A Marden fruit farmer named Richard Budd has cleared 50 acres (200 hectares) of apple trees from his property.

He claimed that as orchards disappear and future consumers depend on foreign importers, the UK's food security is "increasingly under threat.".

British Apples and Pears Limited (BAPL) claims that the industry is "on a knife edge.".

While problems with shortages, which could last until May, affect UK supermarkets, apples are being left to rot in the fields.

The amount supermarkets pay growers for their produce has increased 0.8 percent year-over-year, while input prices, which include picking, energy, haulage, and packaging, have increased by 23 percent, according to BAPL.

Fourth generation farmer Reuben Collingwood, of Tenterden, claimed his fruit-growing operation was suffering severe financial losses.

He called it "pretty catastrophic" the state of affairs.

He said, "We use a lot of electricity for our coal storage to be able to give food all winter.".

"That is up 300 percent from last year, labor is up 15%, and another increase is scheduled for April. ".

Fruit grower Richard Budd
Fruit grower Richard Budd said that farmers can choose to stay and lose money or look for other opportunities.

Growers predict that if nothing changes, there will be an increase in food shortages and the importation of apples and pears.

When that fruit is gone, it won't grow back, according to Mr. Budd. Therefore, unless we import it, the supermarket shelves will be empty.

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