Each month at idc we aim to provide information on the fresh produce sector across the United Kingdom, Europe, and the world; we can advise and guide you, and your chefs on the market changes, product changes and seasonal trends to ensure you’re able to make an informed choice in line with your menus and budgetary requirements.
While we see the only variety dropping in price is the Jersey Royals all other varieties with see an increase in cost over the next month.
The largest affected is the chipping potato we mentioned last month in detail regarding its ambient storage conditions.
The crossing over of seasons as we wait for the new season to start and increase the hospitality trade will push costs up.
We have moved over to Egyptian red onion and seen an increase in costs.
The new season Spanish onion has now started and is some 50% cheaper than the Chilean onion. This is good news but keep hand to mouth as the skin on the Spanish is not yet set and has a shorter shelf life.
UK parsnips will be starting mid-July, please continue to Keep this more hand to mouth the shelf life will be shorter with the Spanish imports.
The UK carrot season is due to start and availability and prices return to more normal levels. The quality and shelf life will also get better.
Leeks remain short while we wait for the new season UK to start at the end of June beginning of July.
There is still a good supply of UK cauliflower coming through and the UK broccoli is starting to make more of an appearance.
UK red and white cabbage has finished and we will be using imported Dutch mainly until the new season starts a little later this year and may get to the middle of July.
Spanish peach, nectarine, plum, cherry and apricot continue to be in good supply. UK Cherry will be starting very soon, so keep an eye out for that.
We have seen the recent scare on melons, but we have moved over to Spanish melons now and we can look forward to using this fruit.
All the UK berries are now available – strawberry, blackberry, raspberry and blueberry. Make the most of the least travelled berries of the year.
We have seen the last few varieties of apples switch over to Southern Hemisphere so we will some a few price increases this month.
UK salads are continuing to coming through well now.
More UK herb and salad leaf are now available but we are still relying on Israeli, Kenyan and Spanish imports to make the volume and the varieties and cope with the UK weather conditions. Heavy rain can affect certain more delicate crops like coriander and salad for a few days.
Liquid milk players such as Müller recently increased its June price for liquid milk by 1p to 28.25ppl, while Medina Dairy upped its price for July by 2.7p to 28.24ppl, and Freshways increased its July price by 2.5p to 28.5ppl.
The current increases in farmgate prices are supported by the strong market gains seen earlier in the year, as market movements can take a while to be reflected in farmgate prices.
UK wholesale markets were mixed in May, with the spring flush increasing milk supplies. However, milk production peaked earlier than expected and deliveries are currently tracking below forecasted levels, keeping pressure off markets.
The Satsuma also known as Unshiu Mikan, Is considered to have originated from a variant of the Bendiguanchu a local mandarin from the Zhejiang province of China around the mid-sixth century. Interestingly it was given its name satsuma in 1878 by the wife of the United States minister to Japan, General Van Valkenberg.
Until the 1980’s it was typically only Japan and Spain that grew this variety, we can now see them being grown in China, Turkey, California, Peru, Argentina, Uruguay and South Africa.
From the hundreds of varieties of Mandarin, the Satsuma is the only of them that has the cold-hardiness that the satsuma has, which is why it grows well in China, Japan, Uruguay and Argentina as they have very cool winters. This differs from the summer months from Spain, as in Korea and China in they have Hot rain-free summers, cultivating the right varieties around the world produces good fruit globally.
The Satsuma has been generally founded on the Owari variety. Spain has replaced the Clausellina with the better quality Japanese Okitsu. Growers are constantly developing new streams of varieties to extend seasons, starting earlier and finishing later.
Sophisticated storage programmes are also used to extend the seasons by four months in heated plastic houses called ‘house mikan’.
Satsuma mandarins are great for juicing, canning in syrup as this variety is seedless.
Satsuma varieties are grouped according to their time of maturity.
For example, the Hashimoto was discovered in 1963 on a mature Matsuyama tree by M. Hashimoto.
This variety matures much earlier due to its high Brix(sugar levels) and a faster decline in acidity. It bears poor quality fruit in deep fertile soil but prefers gravelly sloping sites. It needs harvesting quickly once mature as the fruit deteriorates quickly, but it does ripen up to 20 days ahead of the Okitsu variety. For this reason, it was introduced in Spain in 1995. It’s a good characteristic commercially when there is only the expensive Southern hemisphere fruit about.