Looking for information to help build your menus and keep on top of your GP? Each month the Menu Fresh Market Report aims to provide information on meat, dairy and fresh produce, reporting industry and market news across the United Kingdom, Europe, and the rest of the world.
Here, we can advise you and your chefs on market movements, product changes and seasonal trends to help you make an informed choice.
Our suppliers have found that recent weather and growing conditions have impacted the quality and quantity of this season’s crop. This is expected to result in a shortage of potatoes and exceptional price increases.
The reasons for these circumstances are:
The heatwave in July and August were the hottest months on record in the UK, causing crops to not reach full yield potential or to die prematurely before harvest.
Dry soil, caused by the heatwave, is causing bruising and mechanical damage on the spuds as this soil would normally act as a cushion for the potatoes as they pass through the harvesters.
The ongoing issues with increased energy, fuel and labour costs happening across the nation due to Brexit and the War in Ukraine have impacted farmer’s ability to meet supply and demand.
Whilst larger baking potatoes will be hit the hardest, the wider potato category and other traditional root vegetables will also be impacted for the same reasons. Early warning sign were previously stated in our September Market Report.
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
Tributes have been paid to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II from all sectors of hospitality following her death at Balmoral on the 8th September. Hundreds of tributes have been paid to Her Majesty on social media including Instagram and Twitter from chefs, restaurants and institutions saddened by the passing of the country’s longest reigning monarch.
Chris Edwards, our CEO of Menu Fresh states: “It is a time for reflection and mourning. I know the Queen has played a role, no matter how big or small, for many. For me, it was the continuity that the monarchy brings that is special and grounding. Throughout our lives, the Queen has been the single constant, the thing that never changes, the rock. To me this is the greatest symbol of what the monarchy stands for and leads us, in the face of the hardest, most painful and biggest upset there can be; we move onwards.
Figures from the Office of National Statistics found that 37.4% of businesses in ‘accommodation and food services’ are having issues with recruiting enough skilled staff, making it the most impacted industry for worker shortages.
As stated in the Caterer, businesses are to receive an initial six months of support from the government to help combat rising energy costs, this will be “equivalent support” to household energy bills being capped at £2,500 a year for two years from October.
“Today’s announcement looks to tackle the specific energy issue and we look forward to again working closely with Government to urgently deliver the wider package of investment that will be needed to allow our members to trade through these exceptional challenges and be at the heart of growth in our economy.”
Farmers are only starting to see the full extent of the drought and extreme heat experienced in July and August. Produce such as potatoes, carrots, and cabbages will be impacted as they are unlikely to achieve full yield potential – not bulking up or putting on size – or they’re dying prematurely before harvest. These circumstances are putting pressure on the availability of fruit and Vegetables.
Get the bacon and brie ready, cranberries are back in season. Look for plump, firm, red berries when buying fresh.
Looking for a date? They’re coming into season soon, with the freshest from November. Fresh dates should be plump and moist with glossy skins.
The pepper season is coming to an end. Stock the best and keep an eye out for any signs of wrinkling or puckering around the stems.
Kale is best from mid September onwards. When stocking, aim for tender heads and look for crisp leaves.
The British Swede is coming from mid October. Look for unblemished skin on your swede, with smaller swede having a sweeter taste.
Sweet potatoes are coming in from October, they grow best in the warmer temperatures and are growing in popularity in the UK.
Farmers who need to renew their energy contract this autumn are facing cost increases of up to 400% due to the ongoing crisis. Rising energy prices will also continue to affect “Agflation” in terms of fuel, fertiliser, and feed costs. They will remain at elevated levels for this year and beyond, according to Anderson’s Index.
Finished pig prices have been rising since late March, the AHDB reports. Processors have been struggling with staffing issues from the pandemic causing a backlog of production, limiting pork availability for the UK.
The AHDB states that Cattle available for beef production saw an overall increase of 3% compared to last year. Meaning that more cattle would become available during the second half of 2022.
This is the same with lamb, as sheep production has risen by 6% compared to the same period a year ago, says the AHDB.
UK milk deliveries for the month of August saw a drop of 1.2% compared to last year. Farmers faced additional pressures from heatwaves this August, with an extra dip in August production roughly corresponding to the heatwave.
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