The price of UK-grown cauliflower has eased again, following concerns about shortages and price hikes earlier this month.

Fruit and veg wholesaler Cheesman Brothers told retail and catering customers in a market update earlier in March wholesale prices had “gone through the roof” because sharp frosts and freezing nights had damaged crops.

Pauleys - the fresh produce arm of foodservice giant Brakes - also reported concerns.

But this week, Martin Cheesman of Cheesman Brothers said cauliflower wholesale prices were at last coming down again. “We’re okay now prices have dropped,” he said, adding Cheesman was now selling cauliflowers for about 65p per piece compared with £1 each.

Any ongoing disruptions to UK supply would come at a bad time for the cauliflower market, as suppliers are now relying on the UK for the bulk of their supply and no longer import.

As The Grocer went to press, on-shelf cauliflowers were cheaper than last year. Asda and Sainsbury’s were selling for £1 each, and Tesco for 97p. All three were selling at £1.27 on 26 March. 2011. [BrandView.co.uk].