Seasonal fruit and veg prices soar by 37%

By Amelie Maurice-Jones contact

- Last updated on GMT

High inflation: Fruit and veg prices skyrocket (Getty/ Gary Yeowell)
High inflation: Fruit and veg prices skyrocket (Getty/ Gary Yeowell)

Related tags: Fruit, Vegetables, Finance, Inflation, Food

Soaring inflation rates have seen seasonal fruit and veg prices increase on average by 37% versus the same period in 2020, revealed data from the Government’s Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

Rising food prices join a tsunami of cost increases, including an increase in VAT, national insurance and minimum wage contributions, that continue to suffocate the pub industry, with some fearing the rising cost of living poses greater threat to the sector than Covid. 

The ongoing research from DEFRA studies weekly average wholesale prices charged for fruit and veg at wholesale markets in Birmingham, Bristol, Manchester and a London Market (New Spitalfields or Western International). 

Of all the tracked fruit and veg, items in season this spring were most expensive: asparagus topped charts, skyrocketing 47% to £11.39 per kg the week commencing 19 April 2022, versus a mere £7.74 in the same week in 2020.  

Fruits of labour

Out of the five most costly fruit and veg items, strawberries saw the biggest percentage rise of 80%, from £4.69 per kg in 2020 to £8.42 in 2022. 

What’s more, the price for a kg of rhubarb, the season for which begins in April and continues through to July, rests at £4.37 this week, seeing a rise of 19% compared to the same period in 2020.  

Pak Choi, which can be harvested from late spring to late summer, was another vegetable that has seen rising prices. The food item’s cost soared by 54% from £2.08 per kg in 2020 versus £3.20 in 2022.  

No help or support

However, the fifth most expensive vegetable this season, curly kale, bucked the trend and is in fact cheaper this year in comparison to spring of 2020. The season for sowing kale begins in spring, with the leafy green plummeting by 17% in price per kg since 2020 from £4.12, to £3.41 this year. 

The pub sector has expressed concern about rising prices. Bath Pub Company managing director Joe Cussens previously told The Morning Advertiser​:​ “On top of the tsunami of other price rises, all of our suppliers building up their prices, we’ve got this massive increase in costs, with no help or support at all, or even words of encouragement from the Treasury.” 

Licensee of the Onslow Arms in Loxwood West Sussex, Rob Barr believed rising costs were a huge worry for the sector.​ “The real challenge is they are all coming at the same time and off the back of the pandemic, allowing for no real breathing space for us all,” he said. 

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