Imported apples dominate supermarket shelves

NEARLY TWO thirds (65%) of apples sold by the ‘big five’ UK supermarkets are imported, according to a recent Friends of the Earth (FoE) survey.


This compares to just over half (51%) in local greengrocers, which also sourced more varieties per store on average than Tesco and Asda, the survey found.


Tesco came out worst for sourcing UK-grown non-organic apples in the survey, with just 28% coming from the UK. By comparison, Somerfield stocked the most homegrown produce, with 42%.


“The big supermarkets are using their market power to source cheap produce around the world, pushing UK growers and local shops out of business,” said FoE food campaigner, Robin Webster.


“If this trend continues, British apples could end up as a niche market with the majority of apples coming from overseas.”


Just over half of supermarkets surveyed had organic apples on sale, but only 18% were from the UK, the survey also found. The majority (56%) were from outside the EU.


Key findings from the survey are shown in the table below (percentage of apple lines sourced – non-organic only):















































Supermarket 


UK %


EU %


Non-EU %


Unknown %


Somerfield 


42 


25 


30


3


Sainsburys


40 


 25 


 33 


1


Morrisons


32 


29


38


>1


Asda


30


29


39


 2


Tesco


28 


44


26 


 2


Total 


  35 


31


32 


2


 


 


 


 


 


 


Click here for more results from the FoE 2005 apple survey.