As you may already be aware, heavy rainfall and unseasonably cold temperatures across Europe and particularly in Spain has had a severe impact on the availability and quality of a number of products.

The aim of this letter is to provide more information on the produce affected and serve as a warning that the situation may not improve for some time.

What can you do? Well it could be timely to review your menu options and consider short term changes. In addition, it could be a good time to review your suppliers and ensure that they are supporting you with information and managing prices on your behalf.

Working together has its benefits. We have been working closely with suppliers to ensure that the impact on business is minimised and that prices remain as competitive as possible. I the last few months we have not only managed to delay these increases, but have also significantly reduced the overall impact of price increases. In some instances, we have even managed to agree fixed annual pricing allowing our members to accurately budget for 2017.

What’s effected?

Courgettes:
Perhaps the worst produce affected. Supply is almost non-existent and we may not be able to fulfil orders as a result. Stock that is available now is extremely expensive and we would recommend that you avoid buying it if possible. Unfortunately, the situation will not improve until new Spring crops become available.
Aubergines:
Very limited availability; to meet demand growers are picking crops early resulting in smaller sized aubergines.
Broccoli:
Quality and availability is limited and the situation is not set to improve any time soon. This is due to potentially sub-zero temperatures forecast for the main growing region of Lorca in Spain.
Peppers:
The latest crop looked tired and had a shorter shelf life than usual. The price is also increasing.
Tomatoes:
Standard, vine, beef and plum varieties have all been affected by the cold weather and until it warms up, growers will be struggling to meet demand and keep quality high.
Cucumbers:
Quality has been affected with soft ends on recent stock being reported. With more cold weather due, the already inflated price is set to rise even further.

Iceberg, Cos and Little Gem Lettuce:
Still in short supply. Growers are desperate for warmer weather but none is forecast in the near future. Both quality and shelf life have been affected. Iceberg is already costing some suppliers over ÂŁ12 a box!
Spinach:
Availability is a real issue with the British Leafy Salad Association reporting “Rainfall left some fields reduced to 30% capacity after receiving between 150 to 250 litres of water per square metre. Spinach is like gold dust in the UK.”
Lemons:
Both availability and quality remain good but the price is increasing slowly due to reduced production being possible for the second half of the season. Other citrus crops, including satsumas and clementines, have also been affected.

Contact info@materialmattersltd.com to discuss further.