First, the bad news: From 1st January 2022, all food entering Britain from the EU will be subject to physical inspection at an established Border Control Post. This will almost certainly see a rise in food prices across all sectors due to inspection fees and possible delays in shipping. There is also the possibility of warehouse workers and delivery drivers planning walkouts over pay disputes. Spanish truck drivers are also announcing a three-day strike between December 20th and 22nd in a protest for the government’s failure to address a crisis in the sector. Prepared veg companies have held out until recently but have been forced to put their prices up.
Potatoes will see an increase in January, typical for the time of year, but compounded by rising fuel, wage, fertiliser, and energy costs. There does, however, remain good supply and quality.
Root Vegetables & Brassicas
We currently have some cross over to imported brassicas, mainly coming from Spain. Prices will remain steady if the temperature remains stable (serious snowstorms were a huge problem last year). Cauliflower already has had some cost spikes and more are expected.
Spanish and Egyptian strawberries will both be arriving and competing, so prices will come down. This fruit is very firm and not great for eating at this time of year. Blueberries will have more availability and will see a drop in cost. Raspberries typically see an increase at this time of year due to the slow-growing temperatures, as the Spanish weather starts to warm up, we will see the costs come back down again.
UK, French and other European apples are now all cold stored, prices will start to increase but we haven’t seen it yet. There is also uncertainty about the tariffs mentioned above for EU fruit.
There is still plenty of peach and nectarine about from South Africa, make use of it while it’s available. We will soon be moving over to Chilean fruit which is not good for eating and should only be used for cooking. South African plums will be available over the next few months, prices do tend to rise over the next few months.
January sees the arrival of Egyptian and Spanish oranges, Cypriot and Turkish grapefruit, as well as Moroccan and Spanish easy peelers. This competition and healthy supply keep costs at bay and give a variety to pick from.
As we mentioned last month, Seville oranges will also be available at the end of December/beginning of January for homemade marmalade making. It’s only a short season up to 4 weeks, so jump on it quickly!
There is plenty of lettuce being imported from Italy, Spain and France. We have cos, little gem, lollo rosso, frizzy endive, oakleaf, and radicchio, to mention a few. Radicchio is a rich source of vitamin K. Compared with raw red cabbage, a serving of radicchio contains smaller amounts of most micronutrients, but in return, it has twice as much zinc and copper. Though it looks similar to red or purple cabbage, radicchio has a distinct bitter or spicy taste, which becomes less pungent if cooked.