brussels sprouts one use

A mild summer and late start to autumn should ensure this year’s Christmas table groans under the weight of an abundance of good quality brussels sprouts.

Reports in the media that Britain was facing a brussels sprouts “crisis” this Christmas due to a shortage of seasonal workers were “wrong” say growers, who are confident supplies will be plentiful.

“If we had a blueprint for the perfect growing season, this summer would fit the bill. Barring a long period of frost, we’re confident we will hit targets with prices remaining on a par with last year,” says Martin Tate, commercial director at sprouts grower Lincolnshire Field Products.

Growers have faced fewer problems with diamondback moths - which damaged last year’s crops - and the recent cold snap has curbed growth and ensured better sprout quality, adds British Growers Association CEO Jack Ward.

Supplies of other festive veg are also looking good. UK potato production is high following a 4% increase in planted areas, according to Mintec. Wet conditions during harvesting in southern and western regions could cause some localised supply issues, adds AHDB analyst Amber Cottingham, but retail prices won’t be affected as many suppliers will be in long-term retailer contracts.

Meanwhile, carrot growers haven’t reported any supply issues, according to consultancy ADAS, and there is likely to be a surplus of parsnips this year.

“There have been no major issues with crown cankers which have caused significant damage in the past as new varieties introduced in recent years are less susceptible,” says ADAS horticulture research consultant Angela Huckle. “It is certainly a competitive market with retailers competing for market share keeping prices and margins low.”