Just wanted to share my purchase today so other brits can keep the faith and see fruit is affordable here too!
Went to Smithfield market in Manchester, it's basically a bunch of warehouses all stuck together full of fruit and veg traders. I went down with my wife and we got there about 6am, I think the timing was important as we got the last few boxes of "cheaper" bananas. It took a little asking about at 1st and I got prices quoted as high as £24 for a 40lb box of bananas, not even organic! I kept telling the traders I wanted the fruit to eat and it didn't have to be "shop quality" as I wasn't selling them, eventually I got a guy to give me 4 boxes of bananas for £5 each! We stayed with the same guy and got 21 mangoes for £9 and 2 boxes of Lychee for £2 each.
4 x 40lb boxes of bananananananas (£5 each)
3 x 9 mangoes (£3 each)
2 x box of Lychee (£2 each)
All in all great success, I like very much!
I'm in the Manchester area and I' trying to get a group of people together for a co-op to get awesome organic fruit in, if anyone is interested send me a message!
Yep, it's the market on Ashton Old Road, on the 219 bus route. Best to get there before 10am, though there will probably be one or two sellers still open until midday. Sounds like the best bargains are to be had very early though. I don't bother going unless I can get a lift, because otherwise it's getting two buses across town carrying 30 - 40 kg of fruit- not a fun journey.
The grocers on Hulme High Street sometimes sell off a few boxes of bananas at £3 each, though you never know when. That remains my best buy. They're practically free!
Not been on in aaaaaaages, saw a few posts here, wanted to also recommend http://www.mossleyorganicandfinefoods.co.uk/ I live up in Edinburgh now but my brother gets a weekly delivery of organic bananas. I always eat a load when I'm down visiting ;)
If you get in touch just ask for bulk prices, I think we have a 10% discount on all orders. They do the whole fruit n veg boxes, but I just asked what the price was for an 18kg box of the lovely yellow stuff. They can get dates and all other kinds of stuff too depending on the season. Let them know you found them through Lee and Mark Price, from Hadfield :)