Our departure from the European Union last week has prompted questions from our customers regarding the fresh produce that we buy from Holland, France, Spain, Italy and beyond. Many of you are concerned that our fantastic range of fruit and veg is in jeopardy and we’d like to offer some reassurance that this is not the case! Trading has continued without hiccup or incident and we are fully prepared for the changes to the import procedure if and when they take place.
It is worth mentioning however, how dependent we are on imported produce at this time of the year, particularly given the unprecedented weather conditions of the last few months. Much earlier than in previous years, many of our UK growers are coming to the end of the season on several of their crops. Francis Sampson, who grows down South in Penzance, Cornwall, has told us that in 35 years of farming he can’t remember a winter as poor as this one. Heavy rains have caused havoc in the fields up and down the country, saturating the ground and making harvesting an almost impossible task. In a typical year we’d expect certain brassicas like Kale to be available for another good few months, but unfortunately this year things have stopped much sooner.
It is with gratitude then that we turn to our European neighbours to help us out with some leafy, colourful and citrusy flavours during these darker months of the year. You’ll notice more European lines in the display for a while as our UK growers prepare the land and sow the seeds for the season ahead. This week we’ve a great selection of French rainbow chard and some magnificent cavolo nero as well as the usual ratatouille and fruit lines we stock year round.