There is a lot of talk about shortages of vegetables in the UK and while volumes of some crops are down due to the very wet autumn there is still enough veg on the shelves.
According to Paul Tomlinson from Davis Worldwide, “We are not short on anything, the potato harvest has been difficult, but most of the potatoes for table and packing have been harvested. The varieties for processing (5%) may have been left in the ground. Potato export has also been challenging as some markets won’t accept any traces of soil on the potatoes for phytosanitary reasons, this is very difficult if the potatoes have grown in medium to heavy clay loam soils, it’s best not to take the chance, no one wants containers rejected.”
Brussels sprouts are always a big talking point in the UK in December and some retailers have said they are lowering the specifications this year. “Due to the wet weather more sprouts have yellow outer leaves these will have to be sold as class II alternatively to sell them as class I they will have to be trimmed which adds cost for the grower, therefore the spec has been relaxed. (GOOD!!)
Although the ever-present prospect of Brexit is not causing too many supply problems, Paul said that credit insurance is difficult to get as the insurance companies have been withdrawing it since the first prospect of Brexit. “This is frustrating, but there are ways to work round it. At Davis Worldwide we are not worried about Brexit, there will always be business to be had and the world has opened up, new markets are opening.”
Overall Paul has a bright outlook on the future, “Davis Worldwide has grown significantly in the last two years and we are still investing in the company. It is all about collaborating, being transparent and positive.”