Unseasonally cold weather has caused cauliflower production in the UK to fall to about 20% of normal levels for the past two and a half weeks.
Joint MD of Lincolnshire-based grower and packer Marshalls, Nigel Clare, said the crop was harvested at the minimum size of 11cm and 12cm during recent heavy frosts to avoid losing it altogether.
“There have been shortages over the past two weeks and will continue to be next week,” he said. “We have been well on top of the crop purely to get some UK product on to the shelves.
“The bigger the curd then the leaves fall back, and the greater the potential risk of frost getting in and ruining the cauliflower.”
However, he said the milder weather experienced by the company’s growers in Cornwall, Kent and Suffolk in early December would bring yields back to normal.
Clare added: “We are hoping that we should be back to reasonably normal availability for the week beginning December 17.”