7 September 2001

Strawberry import shock

CHEAP imports are being blamed for a Norfolk farmers decision to stop growing strawberry crops after more than 40 years.

John Hales, of Brickyard Farm, Ingham, has destroyed what he considered to be his finest ever crop of strawberries after being told by processors that they were using low price imports of strawberry pulp from eastern Europe and China.

His latest crop of 27,000 plants was set out in the spring of last year and should have had three more years productivity.

"I have lost the investment necessary to establish the crop and I have had to forgo the income I would have at least got from growing wheat," he said. &#42