Due to harvesting delays, hundreds of thousands of cauliflowers at a cut price will soon hit the supermarket shelves.
On Christmas dinner tables, the humble white vegetable is often a favourite of family members.
However, farmers claim their cauliflower crops have just begun to bloom, as they are typically harvested around October 31st.
The late harvest was blamed by growers on “some of the most difficult growing conditions in many years”. To meet festive demands, retailers had to import cauliflowers from Europe.
However, consumers will now benefit from Tesco’s reduction in the cost of this vegetable to help clear out the surplus after Christmas.
This means that cauliflowers will sell for 30% less than usual over the next two weeks for savvy buyers.
Harvesting delays have caused hundreds of thousands to be cut from cauliflowers.
According to farmers, their cauliflower crop, usually harvested in October at the end, has just begun to flower.
Tesco’s produce buying manager Sam Miller said that cauliflower, one of Christmas’ most popular vegetables, is what they order for December.
“Back in November we learned that our suppliers wouldn’t be able fulfill our orders because of crop failures causing serious issues on the entire UK market.
“The good news is, a bumper crop British cauliflowers are ready to go now and we were thrilled to make sure they don’t go to waste.”
According to vegetable suppliers, the cauliflower is in the mustard family and flowers usually in October or November in time for Christmas meals.
TH Clements is a Lincolnshire-based grower who says that their crops did not flower in time for Christmas.
It was believed that the lack of cold nights between August and September caused the delay in brassica growth in the UK.
To meet the festive demand, supermarkets had to import vegetables from France and Spain because of the shortage.
Richard Mowbray (commercial director, TH Clements) said, “We experienced the most difficult growing conditions in many years. It’s really hit us hard, as we didn’t get to the major Christmas market.”
“The cauliflower is cool-weather vegetable. The season began badly in August/September because we didn’t have any cold nights which were essential for growth.
“The plants failed to flower at the correct time which was the beginning of November or the end October.
TH Clements is a grower based in Spalding, Lincolnshire. He claims that their crops failed to flower on the Christmas season. A lack of cold nights between August and September caused the delay in brassica growth in the UK, according to the growers.
“Instead, they began flowering around December which was a bit late for their schedule.
“Now we have large quantities of cauliflowers, and some of these would be going waste if Tesco had not intervened.”
Tesco pledged help to manage surpluses and purchased an additional 500,000 cauliflowers directly from grower TH Clements.
For the next two weeks, the cauliflowers that are being finally harvested will sell for 49p instead of the usual price of 79p.