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bank holiday opening times

MARCH

Friday 29th March (Good Friday)  - OpenDelivery as normal
Saturday 30th March - Open, Delivery as normal
Sunday 31st March - CLOSED

APRIL

Monday 1st April (Easter Monday) - CLOSED

MAY

Monday 6th May - CLOSED
Monday 27th May - CLOSED

AUGUST

Monday 26th May - CLOSED

december

Tuesday 24th December - Last delivery before Christmas
Wednesday 25th December - CLOSED
Thursday 26th December - CLOSED
27th - 28th December - Open, Delivery as normal
Sunday 29th December - CLOSED
Monday 30th December - Open, Delivery as normal
Tuesday 31st December - Open, Delivery as normal

january

Wednesday 1st January - CLOSED
Thursday 2nd January - Open, delivery as normal

EXTREME WEATHER TAKING IT'S TOLL ON UK VEGETABLE SECTOR

Generally, veg supply was tight last season (2022/23), and it looks like it will be tight again this season (2023/24). The reasons for this are manifold, but the main cause, by far, is not Brexit, it’s not inflation, it’s not vegetable growers throwing in the towel, it’s not desperately short labour supply – it’s the weather!

Last season we had a red-hot summer, followed by an autumn that was more like a summer, followed by a deep freeze. This season, we’ve had a cold, wet spring which delayed plantings, particularly for spuds. And with the exception of June, this was followed by a cool summer with low light levels. Now it’s so wet we’re leaving crop in the ground to rot. Unfortunately, the worst-affected crop by far is our biggest crop, POTATOES.

 

Plantings of spuds were already down by around 10 per cent after the last dreadful growing season. On top of this, we now have around 10 to 15 per cent still in the ground. Some of this crop, which has sat in water far too long, won’t be lifted. The rest that are lifted will be of poorer quality with high levels of bacterial and fungal rot. And we’re hearing of similar problems in other major potato-growing areas on the continent, particularly Belgium, France, the Netherlands and northern Germany. Worst affected is Ireland with some areas having as much as 50% of the crop still in the ground.

The spot price of spuds is currently at least double what you would expect at this time of year, and it looks like it’s only going one way. That would be welcome news if most UK growers sold their spud crop on the spot market. But they don’t. Most are tied into retail, chipping or crisping contracts so are likely to suffer losses again this season.

 

The Farmers Guardian is estimating the UK crop to be as low as 4.14 million tonnes this season. That may sound like a lot but as recently as 2017 we had a 6.2mt UK spud crop and in the 1990s we regularly harvested crops in excess of 7mt. Fact – this season will be the lowest-ever recorded potato crop in GB.

 

Other crops affected by the recent storms are BRASSICAS such as CAULI’S and BROCCOLI, where again spot prices are at least double the norm as the weather brought the UK season to an early end. We are having to buy French Cauli’s which cost about three times more than normal. Carrots are a fresh-lifted crop in this country, so we’ll have crop write-offs and quality issues there too as a result of them sitting in water for too long.

We seem to get several major weather events every year nowadays and then when you add in all the other challenges UK growers are facing, it’s no wonder we’re seeing more and more production of veg being driven abroad. As a nation we import around 40 per cent of our food, which many would say is too much. For fresh produce this figure jumps to nearly 70 per cent and sadly we can only see it continuing on its upward trajectory.