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, fish, fresh produce and much more 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.
With the Menu Fresh Market Report we don’t just focus on price and availability, we hope to highlight some of the issues that affect them, and may have an impact on food supply in the future
Almost 61% of transport and storage firms are struggling with soaring costs because of the rise in fuel, according to home delivery firm Parcelhero. Although we are unlikely to see a repeat of the last year’s HGV driver crisis, companies running fleets of large, fuel inefficient vehicles are likely to feel the impact of rising fuel prices and pass those costs on to customers.
Menu Fresh has invested in a fleet of diesel vans that complies with the latest Euro 6 standard which will help us to mitigate some of these impacts and keep our prices competitive.
A new draft strategy to address the skills needs of the horticultural and food sector in Kent has been published by the research, innovation and enterprise cluster Growing Kent & Medway and is now open for consultation.
The six main issues addressed by the Workforce 2030 strategy are:
Recruitment and retention of labour.
Improving current curriculum and qualification pathways.
Creating new sector-specific engineering qualifications and training.
Bespoke leadership and management training programmes for the industry.
Supporting innovation in areas like automation, sustainability and quality.
Improving communication and engagement between employers, education and individuals.
Some cautiously good news on the UK 2022 Harvest from AHDB, it seems grain production, especially wheat is rising, in part due to more planting in response to the War in Ukraine. It’s unclear how successful the harvest will be, but the North of Europe has benefitted from rain at the right time, and in some areas, harvesting is already well underway.
Although this won’t mitigate the rising costs we’ve seen from the war, it should help keep prices lower for both feed and human consumption.
Fruit & Veg
All UK berries are fully in season including strawberry, blackberry, raspberry and blueberry.
UK Cherries are also now available and some ideas on how to use them can be found here. Of course, they’re absolutely lovely all by themselves!
British growers are predicting their biggest apricot harvest ever, despite fears 10 years ago that it would not be possible to grow the fruit commercially in the UK.
The UK season runs from July to September and towards the end of that period will be the only apricot crop in production.
Peaches & nectarines are also at their best now.
Banana prices have remained relatively stable, in fact, they are still lower in supermarkets than their 1987 high.
This is partly due to a well-established and efficient supply chain, and that pretty much all bananas are Cavendish variety, meaning there’s no real competition between different producers. Bananas also respond well to being chilled, meaning they are easier to transport and store.
At Menu Fresh we have a dedicated Banana room, as storing bananas with other fruit can speed up how quickly it ripens. Bananas emit a hydrocarbon gas, Ethene, which speeds up the ripening of other fruit.
August will see the start of the new season of Bramley Apples and French imported apples.
Royal Gala starts at the beginning of August with Golden and Granny Smith starting at the end of the month.
Pink Lady apples continue to grow in popularity and are accounting for more and more market share, up 13 percent in two years. Although frosts earlier in the year may have affected volumes it is likely they will be in good availability.
New season British carrot season is well under way and leeks are being pulled as you read this report.
Most potato crops are now being harvested, giving good availability, although a stark warning from Potato Review that future supplies of potato seed are likely to be in short supply due to the war in Ukraine.
UK lettuce and baby leaf are now in good supply, as well as the usual varieties including Radicchio, Lollo rosso, oak leaf and of course iceberg and little gem.
UK cauliflower and broccoli harvests are well under way and you can expect to see UK red and white cabbage too.
Luckily the AHDB has summarised the report here which includes the following insight:
“The shift in meat consumption from foodservice to home cooking that occurred during the COVID pandemic is expected to be short-term and will revert back as restrictions are lifted. The main drivers of consumption growth are population growth and economic growth, both of which will continually increase in lower income countries. In high income countries (where per capita consumption is already high) demand is anticipated to level off or trend down as ageing populations and greater awareness of dietary and environmental concerns influence consumer behaviour.”
GB liveweight lamb prices have increased, whilst deadweight prices held firm. Although slaughter numbers have increased in previous months they are still well down on the same period last year.
Beef prices are stable, but in good news for farmers exports have increased, and with global prices high the value of those exports is much higher than at the same time last year.
Pork prices continue to rise, as farmers deal with spiralling costs, although more pigs are going to slaughter which may indicate some improvement in the future.
We reported last month that Tesco has agreed to a new five year contract with egg suppliers to source all of its shell eggs from UK suppliers and to continue using its poultry feed tracker model, which helps tackle fluctuations in prices for producers. We warned then that it is vital that retailers adopt this long term approach to ensure that producers can stay in business.
A recent report in The Grocer details that this is not happening and that we may face egg shortages if the situation doesn’t change.
Lurpack caused a stir recently when it raised prices in supermarkets, and many were asking why this was. As we reported on LinkedIn, it’s because they’re probably the first brand to raise prices in supermarkets, and others will follow.
Lurpack’s parent company, Arla foods, has said they are raising prices as the farmers that supply their milk are facing huge cost increases. The Grocer reported a possible shortfall of up to 75% in seasonal workers. Add this to rising energy costs, and the war in Ukraine hitting feed supply and prices, and you will realise why costs are going up for farmers.
Our July Menu Fresh Market Report highlighted that the “Aginflation index” shows costs are increasing 23% for food producers whereas the Retail Price Index is at 5.6%.
We continue to work with our suppliers to pay a fair price for food and keep our customers up to date.
As we reported last month, GB milk production could fall by between 0.8% and 5.3% depending on what happens to feed prices, availability, and milk prices. This will lead to more stories like the Lurpack example above.