Job Offers

Specials more

Top 5 -yesterday

Top 5 -last week

Top 5 -last month

November 2012: A month of firsts for UK supermarkets

Jamaica was looking at how to start the recovery after banana plantations were destroyed by hurricane Sandy, while sales of Florida citrus were down in the aftermath.

November was a month of several firsts for top fruit in the UK. Marks and Spencer sold its first ready to eat pears, in cooperation with Worldwide Fruit and Its Fresh and Morrisons launched the first UK grown Smitten apples. Khal Amazi a company better known for its production and export of sweetheart roses, has become the first Zambian company to export grapes to Europe. The grapes were sold by by Sainbury's as was the first delivery of UK grown Sweet Sensation® pears supplied by AG Thames.

As the new season of fruit exports got underway in South Africa, the Lychee harvest looked to be on par with 2012 and the stone fruit season was looking positive, apart from a delay of around 10 days on the early varieties due to a late winter. But there was trouble on the horizon as striking farm workers in South Africa's biggest table grape-growing region set fire to vineyards to protest against what they call "hunger wages". Further mass strike action was planned for 4 December, in an attempt to double the wages.

UK supermarkets were warning of problems in sourcing fruit and vegetables after months of bad weather in Europe. Traders were predicting a shortage of grapes in the EU over the festive period due a late South African season, some discount supermarkets were already removing them from their shelves due to the high prices. The British NFU called for retailers to use common sense when dealing with growers who had experienced one of the worst growing seasons in years, with most vegetable yields down and running late. The UK potato yield was down 25% and prices on the free market were three times higher that the previous year. In Italy growers were predicting a 12 day gap in the supply of cauliflower.

In Australia, it was looking likely that a deal to send Tasmanian cherry to China would go a head.

Publication date:

Receive the daily newsletter in your email for free | Click here

Other news in this sector:

Sign up for our daily Newsletter and stay up to date with all the latest news!

Subscribe I am already a subscriber