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UK: Pre-Christmas tomato demand building

The tomato market in the UK is very stable at the moment, Spanish supply is good, as is the quality.

Wilf Whittle from Sharrocks explains that they are working with some nice brands, from family growers and quality has been very good and there have been no real problems.

Sharrocks supplies wholesalers and foodservice companies, "It has been very busy this morning and will most likely remain so in the run up to Christmas. The demand for speciality tomatoes is already increasing and this will continue up to Christmas."

Sharrocks does many speciality tomatoes including an heirloom mixed box and cherry tomatoes on the vine, yellow tomatoes, etc.

The reason for the early rise in demand is that people are starting to hold company parties and Christmas night outs so Foodservice companies who supply restaurants are seeing more demand.

Earlier this year Sharrocks sourced tomatoes from Poland for the first time to supplement the erratic Dutch supply, the Polish supply has stopped now but according to Wilf it was very successful and they will definitely do it again next year.

The weather has been bad in Almeria and there is talk of a short supply next week, but Wilf does not seem too concerned about being able to keep supplying the customers as they have a reliable supply chain.

The pound has been fluctuating for a while now but Wilf says it a case of balancing quality and price.

A lot of foodservice people are talking about shortening the supply chain and going direct to the grower to combat the price increases brought on by the Brexit vote, but Wilf is confident that Sharrocks and other similar companies are an essential part of the chain, if people cut corners they will get found out in the end if someone receives a bad batch of product, quality is the most important thing.

Spanish cauliflower has started and according to Wilf quality is good, they also the first delivery of Spanish iceberg lettuce on Thursday.









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