Most of the news with fruit this week is not so positive. The floods down south have really hit the avocado supply badly. We rely on South Australia and Victoria this month as we transition from southern Queensland and northern NSW on to Western Australia, which is not really right to start. The rain down south has really hurt the South Australian crop and the next few weeks we will now have to rely on New Zealand for supply. Their fruit doesn’t eat all that well, and doesn’t keep that well either. The other fruits we rely on at this time from there is most of our citrus. A strong export market (good news after some very lean years) plus rain damage means this fruit will all finish earlier than usual, as what is left won’t keep well. That leaves us with no options but to start imported fruit earlier than we would like to. The good news is there are plenty of bananas, the first of our Aussie stone fruit (peaches) has started and there are tonnes of imperfect Packham pears this week. Pears suffered massive damage early in the year and premium pears are very dear, lots of growers are now stuck with this ugly fruit, it’s cheap and eats the same as the premium fruit.
The tsunami of tomatoes continues. Even more varieties of snacking tomatoes than last week, more tomatoes and particularly more Imperfect Picks gourmet tomatoes. For spring vegetables I don’t think you can go past Lebanese cucumbers, asparagus, English spinach and broccolini. These vegetables are all well supplied, reasonably priced and superb quality. An interesting change has happened in the garlic market prior to the start of our Australian season which will start soon. Normally we sell (and buy) Chinese garlic for our bargain basement line, many of our customers however prefer not to buy that product. Due to a chronic oversupply of the better imported product there is no niche for this product at the moment. There has been such an oversupply of Mexican and Spanish product that a lot of money is going to be lost trying to clear the backlog of this imported product. Bear in mind this is not new season local product but it will be incredibly cheap. I think it will hold up quite well for the next month, I don’t think it will be great much after that.