The summer cauliflower harvest from Lincolnshire has been going since early June, according to Shane Talling, Director of Business and Development at Veg UK, availability has been up and down due to dry weather and less acreage grown due to costs.
“It’s been very dry here, despite this quality has been pretty good. 10-14 days ago we did have a very, hot, dry spell which caused some damage to the crop but quality has improved since."
Demand has also been a bit up and down and the trade is very hard work at the moment according to Shane.
“We supply mainly to the hospitality sector which is having a hard time at the moment with staffing and increased costs, a lot of restaurants are closed at the start of the week due to staffing issues, and reopen later in the week– each week there is a pattern to the trade. It seems that you are fighting for every order at the moment, and transport is also very difficult and very expensive.”
As consumers see their weekly expenses increase, they are eating out less, and are cooking at home or ordering take-aways, they are more accustomed to this since the Covid lock downs.
“Export has become slightly better, but there is still a lot of paperwork and confusion in the different European countries as to what paperwork requirements are needed, each country appears to have its own needs. Transport to Europe is now costing around 1000 plus Euro more than last year.
“It is tough all round, sometimes we go back to the grower offering the market price and they just can’t produce the product for that cost. With inflation, increased energy prices and the ongoing war in Ukraine we don’t see it getting better anytime soon unfortunately.”