The UK was facing a shortage of cauliflowers and other brassicas after weather events hit crops in Lincolnshire and alternative supplies from Europe were hit by a heatwave.
The economic impact was ‘very serious’ for growers, according to the British Growers Association, with the industry working on small margins.
Cauliflowers have become popular in restaurants and on social media, with food bloggers and chefs promoting recipes for dishes including cauliflower steaks and replacing rice with cauliflower rice.
Jack Ward, British Growers Association, said it went back to rain which fell in June in the ‘very specific’ part of Lincolnshire which grows 50-60 per cent of the UK’s brassica crops.
“In the area in question, some had 6 inches of rain in a week. These were crops which would have been on the shelves now,” he said.
He said usually the retailers and wholesalers would then have turned to imported crops.
“But while we were being rained on, Europe was being scorched. It has left the shelves almost empty. There just is not the volume.”
Wholesalers and suppliers were facing increased costs as the shortage hits home.
Mr Ward added it would likely continue to affect supplies for around 2 or 3 weeks.
“There will be another wave of crop that comes through. “
He added it was a years’ work down the drain for some growers.
“The economic impact is quite serious. Losing a crop has a big impact when the industry is working on small margins.”