Stuart Lawson, produce technical manager at fresh produce supplier Reynolds, reviews availability for the weeks ahead
Spanish hard salads continue to prove tricky as we near the end of the season. In particular, slow colour development of red and yellow bell peppers is being seen, with shelf life variable due to the increasingly warm temperatures in the country. Fortunately, volumes of UK and Dutch hard salads are picking up and harvesting should be in full swing within a couple of weeks.
Availability of avocados will continue to be very tight until the end of May, with Peruvian fruit running late due to flooding. South African fruit is a welcome addition, but volumes are insufficient to plug the gap and market prices will continue to be high.
Central American melons are suffering from low sugar levels as we near the end of the season. European fruit is just a week or two away and will offer better flavour. Elsewhere, Spanish lemons will be a bit tricky for a few weeks until the Verna variety matures to take over from the Primafiore.
The UK strawberry crop is looking favourable, encouraged by the recent warm weather. Glasshouse fruit is already available and outdoor fruit is not far away. However, be aware that a bumper start may mean tight availability later on in the season.
The fine weather at home has also pushed on UK asparagus, which has finally arrived. Outdoor rhubarb and Jersey Royals will complete the pick of the bunch for April.
Visit www.reynolds-cs.com or phone 0845 310 6200