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Crop Report

Wednesday 22nd May - Wednesday 29th May

Get the insights you need to plan more effectively and manage your menus with our latest report from the field, brought to you by our expert produce team.

Crop Field 2

Potatoes

Potatoes

There are significant challenges on the quality and availability of potatoes. 

 

Our technical team is currently visiting all suppliers to try to help them minimise the quality issues that we are seeing. However, due to the scale of the problems, it will be impossible to eliminate all defects and maintain supply. This will continue to be the case for the remainder of this season. 

 

We do have concessions in place, including sizing to aid availability and we are looking at other origins to try to increase the number of potatoes available. However, given that these issues are repeated across Europe, identifying additional sources is challenging.

 

Looking forward, there are concerns that late planting this year, which was significantly delayed by wet and flooded fields, will impact the new season crop by several weeks, depending on the region. As we utilise supply from across the country, we will work with regional suppliers to try to manage supply in the early part of the season. However, we do need good weather conditions, including some rain, to help the crop on.

 

On prepped potatoes, the quality and availability of the raw material continues to pose problems for processors, however we are working with suppliers and are currently managing to maintain supply.

Tenderstem® broccoli

Tenderstem Brocolli

After a very challenging period, we are beginning to see some improvement, with more consistent harvesting from Kenya as the weather improves, and additional stocks becoming available from Spain.

 

However, we are still awaiting the full Spanish mountain crop to be available, which is likely to be in the next two weeks. 

 

In the meantime, we continue to work with suppliers to minimise the impact on customers, including identifying produce from other origins.

 

The seasonal British crop is forecast to become available from the very end of June/early July, depending on the weather. Further updates on the British season will be issued in the coming weeks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mangetout

Mangetout

The mangetout harvest has been improving as the weather gets better. However, there have been significant delays in transportation as passenger flights have been prioritised over freight.

 

We are working with suppliers to try to minimise the impact, including adding additional flights and using couriers to speed up transportation.

 

The Zimbabwean season is close to starting, with the majority of farms likely to start loading this week.

 

In the meantime, we are continuing to work to source additional stocks from other origins as we try to mitigate the impact 
on customers.

Sweetheart Cabbage

Sweetheart Cabbage Pointed Hispi

We are approaching the end of the Spanish season, where the hot weather has impacted product availability. 

 

While the market is extremely tight as we await the transition to the British crop, we are currently managing supply well.

 

The first products of the new British season will arrive at the end of the week. With the challenges to the Spanish product, we will be reliant on the UK crop after then and we expect supply to improve over the 
coming weeks.

 

 

 

 

Apples

British Braeburn Apple (Part Of The British Bi Coloured Apple Autumn Range)

Supply of Granny Smith’s apples is becoming more challenging as we get towards the end of the Northern Hemisphere season.

 

We are working with suppliers to monitor the situation. Golden Delicious is in good supply should customers wish to consider an alternative.

Melons

Honeydew Melon

We are now into the Spanish season with Almeria the first region to harvest fruit, which will be followed by Murcia in around four weeks.

 

Almeria is traditionally the most challenging of the Spanish regions and we will be working closely with suppliers while we await the main Spanish season. 

Curly Kale

Kale

Curly Kale remains very challenging, largely as a result of whitefly affecting availability of Spanish produce.

 

We are working with suppliers to try to identify additional stocks and manage availability as best we can. However, we are unlikely to see much improvement until the British season, where we are expecting the first deliveries mid this week.

Avocados

Avocado

There is a potential issue with larger sized avocados in the coming months. Peru saw a significant reduction of large fruit in its first crop, due to the effects of El Nino over the growing period. This could impact availability of larger fruit from mid to late June through to the start of the Chilean season. 
 


Smaller sizes are expected to be in plentiful supply, which will aid overall availability.

Lemons

Large Lemons

We are seeing some interruption to shipping from South Africa with delays of around a week for vessels bound for Europe. 

 

We are not experiencing major problems as we are also continuing to source Spanish produce alongside South African, but it will be tight in the market and there is a risk that further delays could cause some challenges as we transition into the new season.

Lettuce

Little Gem Lettuce (Need To Crop Before Use)

Little Gem and Cos have now moved into British supply. Iceberg will remain Spanish for this week, and will move to the UK next week.

 

There are challenges with continental varieties, as there is little availability in Spain, with only limited stocks of Lollo Rosso available. We are hopeful that British continental lettuce will begin at the end of next week, but it is currently not heavy enough to harvest. 

Cauliflower

Cauliflower 2

The improving weather is helping to reduce the anticipated gap between the Spanish and the British seasons.

 

Further good weather, with some rain, is likely to reduce the gap still further as we transition from Spain to the UK at the beginning of June.  Growers had been predicting gaps of around two weeks, but it is now looking more positive, although there is still some time to go before we can definitively predict what the gap will be.

 

 

 

 

Parsnips

Piccolo Baby Parsnips

There is no improvement in supply of parsnips, with no British products available and little volume available from Spain, where the season is not yet in full swing.

 

We are anticipating the first deliveries from Spain in around a week’s time.

 

We will continue to work with suppliers to try to maximise supply and bring forward the crop as soon as we can.

Passion Fruit

Passion Fruit

The main sourcing area of Columbia is currently at a naturally low point in the season, which has been worsened by poor weather conditions. This would normally be supplemented by fruit from Kenya, but the weather conditions there have impacted availability and are causing some additional pressure on market supply.

 

We are working with our suppliers and are currently managing demand.

Bananas

Bananas (1)

Junior bananas have a colour concession for the next couple of days, which is due to late arriving vessels and younger stock needing more time to colour up. This should only be a very short-term issue.

Blueberries and Raspberries

Blueberries

There have been some delays through customs, with clearances needing to be checked manually due to IT issues. However, this has not delayed stock into Fresh Direct.

Broccoli

Broccoli

Although the risk around the transition between the British and Spanish seasons is diminishing, it remains challenging. However, we are hopeful that that, with the use of concessions, we will avoid shortages for any significant period.

Easy Peelers

Large Easy Peelers

There is some pressure on supply as we transition from Northern Hemisphere crop to South African supply, which we expect to last until the end of the month. This is caused by delays to ships departing South Africa.

Spring Greens

Spring Greens

Demand for Spring Greens remains high, and there are some challenges as harvests continue to recover from the weather-related issues that we saw earlier this year.

 

While the situation is improving it is unlikely to be fully resolved until the start of the British season in the coming weeks.

Tomatoes

Intense Tomato

We have seen some quality issues on intake, with some Spanish round tomatoes arrivals over the weekend being very forward in colour. We are working with suppliers to address this, and we expect to increase Dutch supply substantially next week.