This year’s mild weather means English brassica crops are racing ahead before winter sales are even due to get under way.
Nigel Clare, director of Butterwick-based grower and packer Marshalls, admitted that Lincolnshire cauliflower and cabbage were both growing much faster than usual.
He added: “We are having to watch quality. And if this momentum continues a shortage may occur after Christmas because harvesting will finish early.”
The prospect is a gloomy one for suppliers, who face depressed prices if there is a flood of products on the market. And for retail buyers, it may present the challenge of finding alternative produce later in the season.
A similar pattern is also emerging for sprouts, although Roger Welberry, chairman of the British Sprout Growers Association, remained confident this week that there would be plentiful supplies.
“The new sweeter varieties no longer need frost to keep buttons tight,” he said.
The market for sprouts was buoyant, said Welberry. “While acreage appears to be down this season we have already been experiencing an increase in demand.”