Supermarkets are struggling to secure broccoli due to a combination of the recent wet weather and flooding, and a reduction in production as growers have cut back due to poor returns.
As a result, the Spanish season began a month early, with strong demand from across Europe. Luis Jiménez, from Hortalizas San Luis in Murcia commented, “At the moment, prices stand at very high levels due to the lack of local production in Europe, where the campaign has finished earlier than expected. Exports usually begin in Spain in mid-November, which means we should already be starting next week. But this year the demand has started a month earlier.
“The United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany or France have had problems due to a lack of water and temperature drops at specific times of their campaigns, and their productions finished hastily, so Spanish products started to be demanded to ensure the needs of their customers would continue to be met,” he told reporters.
In the UK, Martin Tate, commercial director at Lincolnshire Field Products and chairman of the Brassica Growers Association (BGA), said, “We had a good start to the year, and the expectation was where we needed it to be to satisfy all the orders in June, July, August and September.” However, he added that firm had seen its second-wettest October in 53 years.
“We would normally expect to harvest broccoli in the UK up until the middle of November but most growers found themselves struggling in the last week or two of October,” he said.