34 tons of strawberries to be served at Wimbledon

It is that time of year again: The oldest tennis tournament in the world returns. That means it's time to get the Pimm's and strawberries stocked up. Wimbledon 2018 is underway at the All England Tennis Club.

Some 34,000 kgs of strawberries from the county of Kent are expected to be served over the course of the two-week tournament. That amounts to 166,000 servings.

Hugh Lowe Farms, which has its pack house in Seven Mile Lane in Mereworth, Maidstone, is among the farms contributing. Their berries are harvested continuously from April until November by groups of pickers under the supervision of skilled harvesting staff.

Early morning starts ensure the fruit is picked when it is not too hot. The pickers are shown how to handle the plants and fruit so as not to damage the berries. The fruits are hand harvested directly into the punnet before being transported directly to the rapid coolers at the packhouse, where its temperature is reduced to 2-5 degrees C to preserve shelf life.

Kentonline.co.uk quoted NFU South East spokeswoman Isobel Bretherton as saying: "Kentish strawberries have an unrivalled taste owing to our climate and this summer’s unprecedented warm weather must be boosting sales of soft fruit, which can only be good for our Kent growers.”

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