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Nigel Clare - Peloton Produce

"It has been an intriguing June so far, as demand for brassica crops has outstripped supply due to lack of product"

As some parts of the country are still catching up with planting crops, Lincolnshire grower Peloton Produce is back on track after being around two weeks behind in the month of April.

"In the last few weeks everything has gone relatively well compared to other parts of the country, and the plants have caught up quickly," said Nigel Clare from Peloton. "We are fully on schedule with both planting and harvesting, even though the temperatures during the month of May on a whole were lower than we would have expected. It's clear to us that light levels have played an integral part of plant growth, this combined with good moisture levels has placed us in a perfect catch-up scenario. Around three weeks ago we had a nice hot spell, only for one week, however, this really did give plants and crop in general a welcome boost and placed us back on target."

"It has been an intriguing June so far as demand for brassica crops has outstripped supply due to lack of product from the southwest that has had a far more difficult planting and growing period than Lincolnshire. This makes a real change, as normally it is the other way around, and I feel this has highlighted the real need to be involved in both areas of the UK to ensure risk management is maintained. What is becoming clearer is that the volatile weather patterns are having a dramatic effect on brassica crops and this combined with higher labour and input costs does mean that there are no cheap vegetables on offer any more. People are starting to change their mindset to the cost of growing brassica crops, and this is most welcome in the industry."

At the moment Peloton is harvesting red, white, pointed and Savoy cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and Kale.

"We were harvesting our Kale around three weeks before anyone else, the only thing which is slightly behind is the cauliflower, but it is catching up now. We are seeing a huge demand for everything as other parts of country are still behind on production, and this seems to be a similar pattern in other parts of Europe."

Nigel goes on to explain some of his fears for the industry at present: "We still have some customers within the industry who do not issue programmes till it is too late, when crop was in abundance this has not given any issues in the supply sector. However, now this is not the case and those customers that issue programmes when crop has either been sown in the glasshouse or even planted in the field will, and are seeing a more volatile supply pattern and this is brought about by a slowness to commit. We are seeing that costs and weather patterns mean there is no appetite for over supply, and we must as an industry become more professional in our planning to try and combat some of the issues we currently face."

Peloton also grows vegetables in Cornwall and planting will start there in July and early August for harvesting from November to April.

For more information:
Nigel Clare
Peloton Produce
Tel: +44 1945 780222
[email protected]