Brassica Shortages

This is an interesting article about the current shortage of Brassica vegetables due to the wet weather in June.

Below is copied from the article:

Britain is experiencing a cauliflower shortage after extreme weather killed off much of this year’s crops.

Heavy rainfall in June destroyed crops in Lincolnshire, and alternative European supplies wilted in last month’s heatwave.

Cauliflower prices have soared and some farmers have suffered financial losses after the destruction of their crops.

The shortages were described as “very concerning” by a spokesman for the Brassica Growers Association.

Other brassica – including cabbage, broccoli and Brussels sprouts – are also in short supply.

“Crops can withstand a reasonable amount of variation in weather but the conditions in June were too much and as a result crops have suffered, and this is leading to a shortage of supply,” the British Growers Association (BGA) said.

Most of the UK’s cauliflowers are grown in Lincolnshire, which experienced record amounts of rainfall and flooding in June that destroyed this year’s crop.

It has forced some suppliers to buy their cauliflowers from other countries – and the scarcity of them has caused prices to rise.

Some have advised customers – including restaurants and hotels – to take cauliflowers off their menus until stocks recover.

Kate Nicholls, chief executive of the trade body UK Hospitality, said: “If restaurants are unable to get their hands on cauliflower, that is obviously going to cause a nuisance.

“Thankfully, most should be fairly adept at substituting cauliflower for other items on their menus, so, hopefully, customers should not be unduly disappointed.”

Steve Short, the managing director of Accent Fresh, a Norfolk-based fresh produce supplier, said: “We rely quite heavily on Lincolnshire for our brassica, and we get some from Cambridgeshire, Kent, Evesham [in Worcestershire], and Cornwall.

“We have had to import them from Holland during the shortages. The growers have lost a lot of crop, so the market is very short and the price has gone up.

“We’ve been paying between £1.50 and £2.00 per head of cauliflower, it would normally be about 50 or 60 pence each.”