A shopper was dismayed to discover his local Tesco selling 22 different varieties of apples but not one of them was British.
Leo Deen checked 22 different varieties of the fruit at Tesco on Hibel Road in Macclesfield for a native apple – before walking away empty handed.
Instead he found fruit which had been transported thousands of miles from Chile, the U.S., New Zealand and South Africa.
Mr Deen, the town’s mayor Janet Jackson and Food4Macc, a campaigning group, are now calling for stores to stock more locally-sourced produce.
Mr Deen, 50, from Siddington, said: ‘When I couldn’t find an English apple I had to check twice. A member of staff checked as well and admitted they had none in stock. He was clearly embarrassed.
‘Supermarkets should be buying local or at least from the same country and supporting British farmers, not flying in apples from the other side of the world during peak apple season in this country.’
Colin Townend, from Food4Macc, a voluntary group which campaigns for locally-produced food, called for Tesco to introduce a ‘local produce section’ in its stores.
He said: ‘We understand the economic drivers behind the supermarkets’ buying policies, but in the same way as organic food was a specialty product a few years ago but now enjoys its own sections in supermarkets, we would like to see the supermarkets having “local produce” sections, exploiting the loyalty to local producers that undoubtedly exists.’
Bit of a mystery really, isn’t it? Fresh local produce, stuff that’s in season……ah, wait. Here’s the list of picking dates for British apples. Other than Bramleys (a cooking apple) July and August are the one time of the year when there’s actually no British apples to pick. They’re either coming out of store or they’re being imported.
Meaning that, right now, we can either have fresh apples or we can have local apples but we cannot in fact have both fresh and local: it’s that seasonal thing, d’ye see? The equivalent of having to live off turnips in February.