The UK’s Brassica Growers Association is warning of a potential shortage of supplies to customers following extremely high levels of rainfall in the key growing county of Lincolnshire in the east of England.
The association said a month of rain fell on brassica crops in Lincolnshire in a single day last week and that growers across the key production area are assessing the damage and the impact on consumers.
Brassica crops encompass Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, swede and cauliflower.
The association said in a normal year the country would expect around 50mm of rain in June. Last week, crops waiting to be harvested were deluged with up to 80mm of rain in a single day. Some farms recorded the equivalent of three months in a week.
Lincolnshire produces about 30% of all field scale vegetables grown in the UK. The association said growers are working closely with customers to keep them informed about the situation and what they can expect by way of supplies.
Jack Ward, chief executive of the British Growers Association, told just-food: “Most of the products are destined for multiple retailers and they want to know exactly what the volumes will be and what the condition the supplies will be in.
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“A lot will depend on what rain we get this week, although even when it has stopped raining it doesn’t mean the fields will have dried out.”
Asked whether customers are likely to look elsewhere for supplies, Ward said: “There may be some growers in some parts of Europe with a bit of surplus but generally speaking there is not likely to be a lot of surplus stock.”
Ward agreed retailers could face a shortfall, making the point that growers elsewhere are unlikely to be growing produce just in case there is a weather-related issue in another location they can capitalise on.