Happy New Year to all our customers and thanks for sticking with us through a difficult year.
As Fresh Produce Co-ordinator (ie Fruit and veg Lady) I thought I should flag up some possible, ahem, challenges ahead in our supply chain, particularly for imported fresh produce. You may have heard about problems at the ports, not just from Brexit paperwork but also Covid tests for drivers.
There’s a huge amount of uncertainty about what might happen and for how long, but these are some of the messages I’ve been getting from our various suppliers –“potential crippling delays .. immediate price rises .. variety will have to be reduced .. freshness compromised”
“import paperwork is going to make all imported produce more expensive. Especially in the organic sector where we are all relatively small players as the cost is the same for one box of one item or 26 pallets of onions.”
And indeed this week prices have already risen. We wait to see what the effects all this may have on range and quality. It’s not all because of Brexit either – there’s heavy snow in Spain and much English veg is frozen or flooded in the ground.
But not all is doom and gloom! Most of the veg you will see on display in our shop is from 3 organic farms in East Lothian – Tom Elder’s wonderful potatoes and dirty carrots, East Coast’s wide range at great value, and Phantassie’s famous salads. It’s time to re-evaluate the fabulous comfort food we can make from local winter vegetables – get back to our roots (literally) and appreciate those cabbages!
So over the next few weeks we’ll be featuring recipes using our local produce, both traditional old favourites, and some with a new twist and surprising combinations, with recipe sheets available in-store. And we always appreciate ideas from our customers so please share your recipes old and new – either on our Facebook page, or email me at Alison@penicuikstorehouse.org.
Look out for further updates :)
(Fresh Produce Coordinator)