Home/Market Reports/Fruit & Veg/Crop Report – October 2021

October 2021 – Fruit & Veg Market Report

Each month at Menu Fresh we provide expert information on the fresh produce sector from across the United Kingdom, Europe, and the global markets. We aim to provide advice for owners and chefs on market movements, product changes, and seasonal trends to enable you to make informed choices regarding your menu and budgetary requirements.

New season potato crop

Potatoes currently have two seasons running creating a mixture of low and high priced potato ranges.

Potato growers in the UK have weathered difficult conditions. The crop is currently being lifted but market conditions remain uncertain. Although Potatoes were planted in good conditions, a very wet winter gave way to a drier spring, followed by an unseasonal April. The continued unusual weather in May with a mixed summer of rain and heat is expected to deliver an interesting season for this staple crop.

New-season crops are due to drop over the next few weeks, as they become more readily available.

Initially, there were rumours Baking potato prices would increase, however, over the last month prices have remained low, and the crop is in steady supply.

Menu Fresh Potatoes

Root vegetables and brassicas

Farmers had been holding back Cauliflower crops, but the recent rain has meant they’ve all come in at the same time. This has pushed prices up for the last week. The next crop is coming on well over the next week, and we can expect a good supply for the rest of September and October.

Broccoli has remained steady and will be in strong supply for the next 6-8 weeks. The Spanish season starts in October and will add to the current supply available in the market.

 Stone Fruit and UK Strawberry

Peaches, nectarines, and plums continue to remain strong due to previous good weather conditions. As we reach the end of summer, we will see a gap in some stone fruit while we wait for the South African season to start.

UK strawberries will continue until October when the quality starts to drop off. At this point, the Dutch imports will arrive and we’ll see prices start to escalate.

Menu Fresh Nectarines

Melons and citrus fruit

Spanish Murcia Melons are coming to an end to be replaced by the Brazilian season starting at the end of the month. The price will be expected to rise a little.

Spanish Primo Fiori lemons are due to start soon, we should see prices drop as the season matures. Imported fruit is always one to watch especially with the new import rules due to Brexit.

South African Oranges are coming to an end with the Spanish Oranges not expected to start until the 3rd week of October. Prices remain will firm until this starts.

Spanish Satsumas are also starting soon becoming more plentiful through October.

Top fruit: Golden Granny, Royal Gala and Red Delicious apples

French apples including Golden Granny, Royal Gala and Red Delicious are readily available now with Braeburn and Pink Lady starting to come into season shortly.

Wholesalers are buying apples following price trends, which can be volatile, as more of the season’s availability comes through.

Menu Fresh Red Apples

Salads: End of UK lettuce and baby leaf season

UK lettuces and baby leaf are coming to the end of the current season and the quality remains excellent. Mild weather will extend crops until the new Spanish season starts then prices will rise significantly. Winter imported mixed leaf, herbs and spinach will be available as the UK season finishes.

Menu Fresh Spinach

Moroccan Tomatoes

Brexit trade rules are hampering Dutch tomato exports to the UK. This has led to Moroccan tomato exports increasing. This is upsetting European Union tomato growers and exporters. The Spanish and Dutch growers are being hardest hit as these crops face heavier competition from Morocco in the UK marketplace.

Brexit complicates trade between the Netherlands and the UK too. It’s unlikely they will reach the previous import levels the Dutch have been used to.

Morocco’s fresh tomato export volumes have been steadily climbing since 2011 with an average of 3% increase year on year.

In turn, Spain’ exports have been decreasing by the same average percentage. Yet, the Netherlands’ exported tomato crops remain stable.

Moroccan tomatoes are increasingly gaining popularity in the UK. This doesn’t sit well with several EU agricultural interest groups and politicians, especially from Spain. There is currently an EU lobby for stricter import rules for Moroccan tomatoes to enter the EU market.

Dutch interest groups have also added their voice to the lobbying action.

However, more stringent import regulations in the EU have little effect on the Dutch export position. Most of the competition between Moroccan and Dutch tomatoes occurs in the UK. There, Brexit will further accelerate the rise of the Moroccan tomato.

Morocco’s market share in the UK has risen sharply, though it has a fairly limited position in the EU and UK markets, with an approximate 6% market share of the seven billion kg market available. France buys the most Moroccan tomatoes with 320 million kgs, the UK and Spain follow with 83 and 78 million kgs respectively. France and Spain represent reasonably small sales for the Dutch market.

Menu Fresh Tomatoes

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