Of all the organic food sectors in the UK, top fruit production is one of the least developed. Despite strong consumer demand and high prices for organic fruit, UK production remains small and 90% of supplies are imported. Current methods of production are unsatisfactory with low yields and erratic quality, with resulting variable economic performance. Pest and disease problems are one of the main reasons for this poor performance, with current varieties being unable to provide sufficient resistance. New varieties and an improved pest and disease management programme, identified as part of a HORTLINK project, offer new hope to the sector. There are now opportunities for the sector to grow and provide greater UK supplies of top fruit, in addition to widening the proven benefits to biodiversity of organic orchards
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