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Poor apple harvest leaves sour taste

Grower: I have never seen so much damage in all my years as a grower
2:30 min
Jörgen Andersson examines his damaged aroma variety apples.
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Jörgen Andersson examines his damaged aroma variety apples. Credit: Richard Orange / Sveriges Radio
Henrik Stridh, the chief executive of Äppelriket.
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Henrik Stridh, the chief executive of Äppelriket, Credit: Richard Orange / Sveriges Radio

It’s the week when the first of this season’s apples hit the supermarket. But with a freak cold spell in late spring destroying more than three quarters of some growers’ harvests, for some it’s a time for mourning

We visited Sweden’s "apple capital", Kivik in Skåne to investigate.

"We had about six nights with frost, under zero degrees,” says Jörgen Andersson, as he shows us around an orchard full of Swedish Aroma variety apples, outside the small town of Brosarp.

“As I can see now, I have never seen so much damage in any years of my time as a fruit grower.”

As the frost hit in late April and early May, after a warm spring, the flowers were already budding so the cold caused maximum damage. 

Andersson predicts that he will only produce about 25 per cent of a normal harvest this year, with many of his apples disfigured with brown frost marks, which mean  they can only be sent to be turned into juice, jam, or pre-made foods containing apples.

Henrik Stridh, chief executive of Äppelriket, a company owned by some 93 apple growers, which packages, distributes and markets the fruit, said that overall he expects the harvest to be about 25 percent, or 5,000 tonnes, lower this year.

But he says he hopes to still be able to keep the prices reasonable, so Swedes won’t have to miss out on their slightly tart, but tasty home grown apples.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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