Hopes for better sales after slow start Iceberg growers take a cool look British iceberg lettuce growers are predicting a comparative boom in August sales after a difficult summer, providing the long-term weather forecast holds. Up to now, apart from 10 days of good sales in May, demand has slumped with planting programmes disrupted. But Mark Haynes, chairman of the British Iceberg Growers' Association, forecasts that market price levels could increase by at least £1 a carton above the current £4-£5 as temperatures rise. Last week BIGA launched its new 10-minute training film which has cost £15,000 and will be available to members and retail customers to create greater awareness. While iceberg is still the largest salad sold by multiples, who like it because of its attributes of no waste and long life, there has also been increasing competition from other lettuce types in general, and the growth of speciality prepacks. Iceberg is also presented in prepacks and an increasing volume is going into foodservice, but BIGA is targeting sales of whole heads in the retail sector. The film also introduces an animated lettuce cartoon character, Mr Cool (above). Jonathan Tremayne, vice chairman of the general purposes committee, believes Mr Cool could be used for a variety of promotional purposes to give the crop a modern market profile to appeal to young consumers. More details should become available at the BIGA lettuce conference held in association with the HDC on October 20 at the agricultural showground, Peterborough. {{FRESH PRODUCE }}