02 Mar What was #vegcrisis and what can it teach us about fresh produce consumers, and fresh local produce supply?
As we write this we are only just coming to an end of what has become known in popular media as #vegcrisis. So what is the crisis? What’s caused it? What can it teach us about ourselves as fresh produce consumers and our knowledge of fresh produce local supply?
A few facts:
- 85% of the fresh produce consumed in the UK is imported.
- Parts of Italy, France and Spain that haven’t seen snow for over 100 years had more than a good dusting of
the white stuff this winter.
- Ocado alone have 6 lines of fresh courgettes, Tesco 3 and Sainsbury’s 3.
- A 2014 study found that 90% of the British public are “ignorant about seasonal fruit and veg”. 90% or more of the sample of the public in the survey were unable to identify the correct months that food products were in season.
So what is the #vegcrisis and what has caused it?
During the British winter months we import the majority of our salad and vegetable products. Would you expect to be able to grow iceberg in your garden in January?
The UK has a culture of on demand consumption. Supermarkets are rightfully very proud to be able to stock many items year round. As a result however it means we as consumers have lost our understanding of seasonality. UK courgettes are not available until May. So we ask in a time when many things are instant and even the news can be updated in seconds why can’t our food keep up? It doesn’t seem an unreasonable expectation but one that requires far greater understanding of how things grow and where they come from.
What can we do to have better availability of Produce?
So how do we educate consumers? In order to understand better that in times of unseasonable weather c
nditions availability will go down and prices will go up? Maybe this is where the power of social media can really help. #courgettecrisis has shown us that news now spreads faster than ever. We can use that same power to educate people better on where their food comes from. Lets use the increased cost when there is a shortage to be a powerful education tool!
So we need where possible to buy local. Buy British and buy in season. Something Produce Partners are passionate about and more than willing to help our customers achieve.
We can of course help you with all your import vegetables too! Get in touch…