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Rising produce prices could hit restaurants

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Wholesalers have warned that higher fresh produce prices, which are the result of poor yields following this summer’s exceptional weather, could significantly hit profits in the restaurant and hospitality sectors, with root crops and brassicas being particularly affected.

Former restaurateur Vernon Mascarenhas, who now works for supplier New Covent Garden-based Nature’s Choice, predicted that wholesale prices would rise by up to 15 per cent by the end of this year, and that large chains are not flexible enough to be able to change their menus at short notice.

He even warned that the predicted high price of Brussels sprouts would see many restaurants dropping the seasonal essential from their Christmas menus. “The poor restaurants that have already printed their Christmas menu and got it out there will probably go for frozen sprouts now,” he told the Fresh Produce Journal. “This is not just a flash in the pan. This is going to affect us right through until the next harvest in the spring, and the problem for growers is that they have no idea what’s going to happen next year.”

Photo Caption: Could high prices see restaurants dropping sprouts from their Christmas menus?

Photo Credit: Public Domain Pictures

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