Supermarket fresh produce shelves are now empty for food buyers throughout the UK. We visited our local supermarket yesterday, it was evident the salad, fruit and vegetable aisles have plenty of vacant shelves. Despite what the news headlines claim, Fresh Produce is available.
Produce including tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers are cultivated in heated greenhouses in the UK during this time of year. Due to the rising prices, UK farmers were obliged to reduce their output this year. The cost of growing a tomato climbed by 27% between 2021 and 2022, according to research released by the National Farmers Union (NFU) in November, primarily as a result of rising energy prices.
The UK has historically relied on fresh produce from Spain and Northern Africa during the winter months. The reliance is at an all-time high this year. The UK producers asked supermarkets for additional money this year to compensate the rising costs of British farming due to these increased energy costs. The supermarkets have decided not to support growers this winter; instead, they have expanded their importation of cheap produce from Spain and Morocco.
However, this has backfired, the poor weather in several European nations has delayed the harvest. A shortage has occurred across numerous product lines as a result of the high temperatures in the autumn and early winter that were followed by a protracted cold snap. Due to the shortfall, the price of imported produce has also skyrocketed.
“With the extra costs due to Brexit, poor weather and constant pressure on growers, we are now seeing shortages across all produce coming out of Europe not only in the hospitality sector but now on the super market shelves. The growing pressure to keep pricing down against the increases in labour and utilities means growers are fighting a losing battle. Please support local when you can and let's try and bring the greengrocer back to the high street.”
Tom Rostrup, Business Development Manager at FerryFast
Because we are more flexible with price and make sure growers are paid fairly, FerryFast Produce & Worcester Produce are still able to source and offer the freshest produce that is absent for supermarket shelves.
We are trading daily with local greengrocers meaning produce is readily available for the public to purchase too! Clive's of Cropthorne are a family run, local farm shop located on the outskirts of Pershore. Clive's of Cropthorne have been supplying fresh produce to the public for over 40 years. Rich Clive from Clive's of Cropthorne, said: "We have seen an increase in sales of fresh produce in the last few weeks, unlike the supermarket supply chain struggling, we are able to keep our shop stocked up thanks to great supply from FerryFast. This could be a good outcome for British agriculture as we are finding lots of people are picking up the British seasonal produce instead of the expensive imports in the store."
Now is the time to support growers and to beat the empty shelves by using your local greengrocers! To find your local greengrocers please click here.