Stuart Lawson, produce technical manager at fresh produce supplier Reynolds, reviews availability for the weeks ahead
Strawberries are now sourced predominantly from Holland and grown in glasshouses, so the fruit tends to be soft and prone to bruising as we near the end of the season – hence, the shelf-life is reduced. Limited English glasshouse-grown fruit is still available, with more robust Egyptian fruit still about four weeks away.
Hard salads are proving tricky, as is often the case at this time of year, prior to the Spanish season getting under way. Low light levels and cool temperatures across the UK and Holland mean that crop growth is much slower and the colouration of peppers and tomatoes is particularly tricky.
Pineapples from Costa Rica continue to prove difficult, with little sign of improvements in the near future. Availability of avocados is tight and market prices are high, predominantly due to soaring global demand. Sales in the EU alone are reportedly up 25% year-on-year.
Brassicas, including cabbage, broccoli, sprouts and cauliflower, are holding up very well, assisted by mild weather across the UK.