Strawberry Trade History goes back to the Romans. And unlike, for example, tomatoes or potatoes, strawberries are native of both Europe and America. We have therefore known for more than just 500 years what to do with this beautiful fruit. It took us until the 18th century though until the first cultivated garden strawberries, similar to the fruit we know today, became available.
Strawberries are higly sesaonal and are perhaps more than any other fruit, the harbinger of a new season of life. Winter is most assuredly over when strawberries are consumed!
Before modern transport and refrigeration options became available, the strawberry trade was very much a local or at best regional activity. Strawberries do not travel all that well, so they tended to be eaten fairly close to where they had been grown.
This is also reflected in the sheer number of countries where strawberries are grown today. This link leads to, amongst others, a table of world strawberry production by country.
Today, we think nothing about extending our local strawberry seasons with imported fruit - at either end of the spectrum. Strawberries have in a way become a manifestation of what is possible these days in terms of an all year fresh fruits & vegetables supply.
Another fascinating aspect is the fact that consumers appear to be a little more territorial about strawberries than other fruits, as demonstrated by this BBC approach to Strawberry Trade History.
Strawberries are big business and have these days become thoroughly commercialised. Strawberries have also developed into a bell weather crop for consumers and retailers.
Consumers want their strawberries red, sweet and every single fruit in the punnet should be as edible as the next. Retailers know that strawberries have to be turned over incredibly fast in order to retain freshness and customer appeal. Yet they also know that strawberries are sensitive to being mishandled. "Getting strawberries right" is for a retailer the annual master piece, the merchandise by which his customers and peers will judge whether the retailer's strawberry supply chain truly delivers what the consumer wants.
And in that area, long trade history or not, a considerabel amount of work is still needed.
Trade History Of Popular Fruits & Vegetables