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NEWSLETTER DECEMBER 2016

NEWSLETTER - DECEMBER 2016

 

Here’s wishing you a Very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year.

 

Most of us look forward to Christmas, hopefully enjoying a few days of well-earned rest, reflection, old films on the TV, over indulgence or whatever takes your fancy. For some, the previous couple of weeks of harvesting twice as many parsnips as usual, or five times as many sprouts as usual means that the break is especially well-earned. The rest of us say a big “thank you” for making sure that our Christmas food essentials are available on time. This year, the combination of untimely flooding in some areas, and the higher numbers of diamondback moth have meant that brassica crops in many parts of the country have been hit badly. At the time of writing, we are quietly confident that our growers will come up trumps again – but for some people, if we were short of our full orders of “Brussels”, a few less sprouts on their plate might be considered an early Christmas present!

 

Vegetables

I’m not sure about the whole country, but it was well into the autumn before we had our first proper frost of the season. But when it came, it was quite hard. This means that whilst the autumn has allowed many of our vegetable crops to achieve good yields, there are some “greens” which are showing signs of frost damage. We do ask for a little tolerance from our customers in these circumstances, as very often, frost damage is mostly superficial. It’s heartbreaking for growers who’ve spent many months growing a crop to have essentially sound crops rejected just because of some cosmetic damage caused by a harsh frost. Equally so, growers must make sure they don’t try to market crops which are damaged to the point where no customer wants to buy them. There are always two sides to every coin!

With most growers having had good autumn growing conditions, we expect to see plenty of availability for the standard home-grown vegetables. However, it’s a different matter with some of the imported crops. A combination of some extreme weather conditions in Europe, coupled with a struggling exchange rate, post Brexit, means that many of the vegetables coming from Spain, Italy and France will be more expensive than usual.

 

Fruit

There is a similar, only worse, situation with fruit supplies. Because so much of the fruit that we buy this time of year, comes via the continent, we are subject to the weaker pound following the Brexit vote. Suppliers have warned us that significant price rises are in the pipe line, most notably for bananas. This is already happening with conventional supplies in the supermarkets, and our prices will have to go up in early January. We will do our best to contain any increases, but this scenario of a weaker pound was predicted way back in early summer, so we can’t say we weren’t warned. Fortunately we still have UK grown apples and pears, with supplies likely to continue well into 2017.

 

It just remains for me to thank all customers for their continuing support during the year and to thank our suppliers for all their great produce.

We would like to wish wish you all a happy and peaceful Christmas and a successful 2017. 

 

 With Best Wishes from all at Phoenix.

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