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Wet weather threatens produce price spike warns Lynx Purchasing

22nd May 2024 - 07:00
Wet weather threatens produce price spike warns Lynx Purchasing
The UK’s wet and wild weather over recent months means hospitality and catering operators are likely to face sharp increases in the cost of key food and drink lines, warns buying specialist Lynx Purchasing.

Many crops, including potatoes, carrots and salad for summer menus as well as the wheat grown to make beer, have been delayed or damaged by the heavy rain which has left large areas of agricultural land waterlogged.

Rachel Dobson, managing director of Lynx Purchasing, commented: “As the weather improves and the sun shines, it should encourage more people to go out and enjoy hospitality venues. However, the impact of the wet weather will be felt in the supply chain for a while longer.

“Although the headline rate of inflation is expected to continue to fall across the summer and into autumn, operators don’t always see the full benefit when there are specific problems. Our advice is that hospitality businesses should prepare for higher prices and potential shortages across a range of produce.

“We won’t know the full picture until produce is harvested. However, we do know that after the very wet winter and spring, many farmers have either had to plant later than planned, or even abandon flooded fields entirely. Europe experienced similar issues, meaning imports are also affected.

“The challenge for restaurants, pubs and other hospitality businesses is that supermarkets are able to use their buying muscle to secure available supplies, which also helps to dampen any impact on the headline inflation rate. Hospitality has to compete for whatever supplies are left, with prices higher and quality perhaps not as good.”

The warning comes as Lynx Purchasing publishes the Summer 2024 edition of its regular Market Forecast, using exclusive insight from the range of suppliers that Lynx Purchasing works with, as well as official inflation data, to look at food and drink pricing in the run-up to the summer trading period.

Among the product areas highlighted in the latest Market Forecast are:

  • Potatoes: The prolonged wet weather has affected the quality and timing of the UK crop, along with other root vegetables.
  • Salads: Outdoor planting of products such as onions, peppers and tomatoes will be later than usual in the UK, due to the generally waterlogged conditions.
  • Vegetables: Growers will be hoping for dry spring weather to help with planting crops such as carrots, cauliflower, and broccoli.
  • Beef: UK beef production is forecast to remain largely stable in 2024.
  • Olive oil: The long, hot, dry summer in much of the Mediterranean last year damaged olive trees and caused a poor crop, pushing olive oil prices to an all-time high.

A free copy of the Summer 2024 Lynx Purchasing Market Forecast can be downloaded from the website at:

Written by
Edward Waddell