First Choice Produce in The Guardian today!

Posted on 03 February 2017

Traders at the New Covent Garden wholesale market in London, which supplies restaurants, markets and retailers all around the country, said trade was tough.  

While his staff boxed up bright rainbow chard, plump vine tomatoes and a few prized iceberg lettuces for restaurant clients, including those of star chef Yotam Ottolenghi, wholesaler Dan McCullough explained that he is taking some of the financial hit rather than pass on the full cost to clients. “I’ve never seen anything like this before,” says the wholesaler, who set up First Choice Produce 40 years ago.

McCullough said import prices had already risen by 10%, before the weather problems, as a result of the fall in the pound caused by the Brexit vote. “Occasionally you get a problem with one product, but this many for this amount of time is unheard of."

But there could be a silver lining says Vernon Mascarenhas, head of sales and marketing at First Choice Produce. Their company is advising clients to buy alternative seasonal crops, such as savoy cabbage and purple sprouting broccoli grown in the UK. “We have plenty of vegetables in the UK, so rather than rely on foreign produce we could see people moving to homegrown produce. Maybe it’s a blessing in disguise.”

First Choice Hr 15