Leafy salad and celery supply will remain challenging well into January and shortages from Spain could get even worse as the extent of recent heavy rains and flooding takes its toll on Murcia crops.
Speaking to Produce Business UK, a spokesman for the UK Leafy Growers Association says there is growing concern over the lack of leafy salad supply from southern Spain as producers are still struggling to salvage crops that were battered by rains in late December.
“Supply remains challenging for leafy salads and celery following the torrential rains and flooding before Christmas; the soil in many fields is still saturated, so the lettuce and celery is prone to breakdown and rotting, meaning significant reductions in yield and therefore availability,” he says.
“The availability of crop from the U.S is still somewhat unclear as harvesting operations resume after the New Year break, but at this stage it looks likely that we will see imports arriving in Europe in the next week or so as supply remains tight well into January.
“There is also now a growing concern about the delayed effect of the rains on availability towards the end of February and into March as many growers in the Murcia region have been unable to plant the lettuce crops that would be due for harvest around that time. There is potential for the effects of the flooding to be even more significant during this period than we are experiencing now.”
Supplier of Spanish salad crops to the UK foodservice industry, Reynolds, previously told PBUK how it was closely monitoring and managing lettuce stocks to ensure key clients receive quantities.