carrots one use

A shortage of large carrots has caused UK wholesale prices to rocket - but growers insist there will be no impact on retail customers. 

Wholesale carrot prices were up 43.9% year on year in July [Mintec], with growers blaming a lack of supply as a result of less than ideal weather conditions.

Rodger Hobson, Yorkshire carrot grower and chairman of the British Carrot Growers’ Association, said cold weather in May and June had limited carrot growth so far this year.

“Certainly for our own carrot crops we are finding that quality is superb but they aren’t big enough and there aren’t enough tonnes coming out of the fields,” he said.

“I have had to turn down all enquiries except for regular contract customers.”

Andy Weir, head of marketing at wholesaler Reynolds, said the lack of rainfall and higher than average temperatures across key growing areas in more recent months had also slowed crop growth.

“The lack of large carrots is certainly an issue,” he said. “UK-grown large carrots are currently being supplemented by some imported product, notably from France and Spain. 

“But demand is outstripping supply, hence the higher year-on-year market prices.”

However, despite shortages and high prices on the wholesale market, a spokesman for the National Farmers’ Union stressed retail prices would not be affected because the majority of carrots were grown under contract.

Both Hobson and Weir said the supply situation should improve as the UK moves deeper into the root vegetable season.

“Providing we receive some moderate weather with balanced rainfall, we would expect market conditions to improve, with some year-on-year price parity achieved as we approach September,” said Weir.