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September 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.


Potato supply remains relatively stable, with a lot of new season crops readily available.

When deciding to move over to new crops it’s always worth checking the quality first. With some varieties, like the Maris Piper, it’s often better to work the old crop a little longer to achieve a longer shelf life.

With retail markets remaining strong over the Summer, chipping potatoes will hold at the current higher price.

Menu Fresh potatoes

Root Vegetables & Brassicas

UK Cauliflower and Broccoli are coming through in steady supply, with all the UK Cabbages – Savoy, Hispi red and white – also looking excellent.

Grower costs are higher due to the current staffing and haulage issues, but we expect to see a reduction in these costs as the season matures.

Carrots, Parsnips and Leeks are also more readily available and have seen only minor decreases in price, compared with previous years.


Mushrooms have become quite short in supply due to import issues from Poland and increased labour and distribution costs. Recent hot temperatures have been causing burnouts in the Mushroom beds, creating high temperatures and destabilising the ability for Mushroom growth. Unfortunately, the air conditioning units inside the growing sheds haven’t been able to combat the increasingly warmer temperatures outside.



The Stone Fruit season remains strong due to previous weather conditions being favourable. As we reach the end of the UK summer season, the South African season starts and looks to be able to deliver steady imports.

Although the UK had a bumper crop of Cherries, the short shelf life means the supply will only last a few more weeks. European fruit will last longer but the wholesale markets are already starting to import the more expensive American fruits.

Spanish Mercia Melons are coming through and are larger in size due to growers are holding onto the fruit a little longer, due to lack of immediate demand.

Top Fruit

Apples and Pears are going up.

Industry Pricing Detail

The European Apple and Pear crop forecast was released by the World Apple and Pear Association (WAPA) on 5 August. The forecast revealed Apple production is set to increase by 10 per cent, while the upcoming Pear crop is expected to decrease by 28 per cent.

More than 150 international representatives from the Apple and Pear sector took part in the Prognos fruit 2021 Online Conference, the second virtual edition of the event in its 46 years. The conference provided a platform to discuss the 2021 production forecast.

“Apple production in the EU for the 21 top producing countries is estimated, for the 2021/22 season, to be 11.735m tonnes,” said WAPA’s Philippe Binard. “Overall, this year’s crop is estimated to be 10 per cent higher than last year, but up only 1 per cent on the three-year average. It is therefore perceived to be a season with a balanced outlook.”

Poland is the leading producer, by county and is expecting a 22 per cent increase in volumes year-on-year, up to 4.17m tonnes. Italy is set for a slight fall of 4 per cent to 2.046m tonnes.

France and Germany are both expecting an increase in the size of their Apple crops, up 3 per cent and 6 per cent respectively, to 1.375m tonnes and 1.08m tonnes.

Both Golden Delicious and Gala varieties are forecast to increase by 8 per cent this year, to 2.12m tonnes and 1.563m tonnes.

Whilst the EU Apple crop is larger, the EU Pear crop for 2021/22 is estimated to decrease by 28 per cent compared to last year, to 1.604m tonnes and by 27 per cent compared to the three-year average,” Binard confirmed. “This is the smallest decade crop for Pears.”

Italy was the largest Pear producer in 2020 and is expecting a huge drop in production of up to 65 per cent this season, down from 611,000 tonnes to just 213,000 tonnes.

The Netherlands and Belgium take the top two positions in terms of volume, although they too are forecasting drops in production of 19 per cent (to 325,000 tonnes) and 25 per cent (to 295,000 tonnes) respectively.

By variety, this translates to a decrease of Conference Pears of 18 per cent to 805,000 tonnes and Abate Pears of 73 per cent to 66,000 tonnes.

The Pears are certainly one to watch over the coming season with expected price increases due to the 28% drop in volume, similarly, we may see sharper Apple prices over the coming season.

Menu Fresh apples


UK Lettuces and Baby Leaf are in full season, and the quality is excellent. However, recent heavy rainfall and the potential predicted hot weather at the end of the month may have an adverse effect on both availability and quality.

The Dutch Tomatoes are of fantastic quality, and as demand continues to outstrip supply, prices are rising.

Dutch and Polish Peppers are continually available, which is currently keeping prices stable.


The price of producing Parmesan went up by between 40 to 60 percent in the spring and early summer months of last year. As Parmesan is a hard cheese requiring 10 months to age, most of the Parmesan that is now hitting the market has seen significant price increases.

The increased farmgate milk prices we have seen over the last few months have influenced cheese and yoghurt prices. The knock-on effect always follows a few months after any milk increase.

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