Ms Hodgkinson said NSW producers are this season delivering high-quality cherries, with great taste and excellent fruit size.
“Cherries are a major part of an Australian Christmas,” Ms Hodgkinson said.
“I encourage people to buy locally grown fruit this summer, if they are looking for top quality and very tasty produce.
“Shoppers should make sure they get in early as NSW cherries are available for a short time only, with the season due to finish in mid-January 2014.
“Summer storms and rains can also cause an early end to the cherry season, so it’s important for consumers to make sure they don’t miss out.”
Ms Hodgkinson said it has been a challenging growing season in some parts of NSW.
“While the warmer winter has meant the yield is slightly down on previous years, the quality is certainly high,” Ms Hodgkinson said.
“Despite challenging growing conditions in some parts of the State, cherries from the main growing regions of Young and Orange are amongst the highest quality of fruit that the State has produced in recent years.
“We are also seeing and expecting some exceptional fruit out of the smaller production centres including Mudgee, Cowra and Batlow.”
Mr Sidoti said varieties currently on sale include the popular Lapins, Silvias and Kordias with late-season Sweethearts available from some orchards.
“NSW is renowned for producing some of the best quality cherries of anywhere in the world and this year is no exception,” he said.
“Cherries are a really versatile fruit and are great just on their own or in cooking and can top off any Christmas feast.”