UK hit as global raisin supplies dry up

Image copyright Getty Pictures
Image caption California, a big supplier of raisins to the UK, produced less plants last year

The UK has been hit with a global shortage of raisins, sultanas and currants.

The uk – the world’s biggest importer of dried fruit – offers seen the price of raisins and sultanas rise by 42% since Sept, leading suppliers have said.

They blame falling amounts of raisins in California for pressing up prices.

Bakeries say increases are unlikely in order to affect the cost of hot cross buns – but an industry analyst cautioned this year’s Christmas puddings might be hit.

Jara Zicha, a market analyst in the UK, said maqui berry farmers in California, which produces the majority of the raisins destined for the UK, possess moved away from producing dried fresh fruit in favour of more profitable crops.

Mr Zicha, from the store consultancy Mintec, said: “It’s the gradual decline simply down to maqui berry farmers moving to other crops because of increasing labour and land costs. inch

Hot combination buns

He stated rising supply costs in the UK have been exacerbated by the fact Greece seemed to be producing fewer currants.

The US shortage has increased demand regarding Turkey’s sultanas and raisins, he or she added.

Fears had been initially raised over the cost of Easter hot cross buns. However , a number of bakeries told the BBC the existing shortage has come too late to have an effect on hot cross bun costs this season.

Several bakers mentioned they already have large stocks associated with dried fruit and have agreed agreements with suppliers.

Ruth Burke-Kennedy, from Yorkshire-based bakery plus tea rooms Betty’s, said: “We are covered through this season due to the fact our purchase prices are set, we can ride it out. inch

Image copyright BBC Good Food
Picture caption Chocolate orange mix buns are one alternative which usually avoids the need for dried fruit

Gordon Polson, director of the Federation of Bakers, said anybody who is making very hot cross buns for Easter may “already have the supplies in place”.

Steve Dresser, creator of retail consultancy Grocery Understanding, added: “I would be surprised in case any shortage impacts the price of this particular year’s products given the fruit is going to be bought and either in depots or on the way over, given the particular uplifts of sales nearer Easter. ”

Andrew Ciclitira, director of UK dried fresh fruit supplier Demos, urged manufacturers to become “more creative” and look to Sydney and South Africa as alternative providers of raisins and sultanas.

Cooking creatively

Mr Zicha warned the present shortage could have an effect later within the year – potentially at Xmas.

“Most of the bakers have the stocks already, ” this individual said. “But this shortage, instead of affecting Easter, might affect items at Christmas time, like Christmas pudding. ”

Barney Desmazery, BBC Good Food publisher, urged budding bakers to get innovative with their choice of ingredients.

“The history of cooking has been a lack of one ingredient and using another, inch he said.

“There’s no reason we should not have our own Christmas cake, but maybe using dried out mango, coconut and rum rather. ”

Related Subjects