Food supplies cut short by rains

| 25/01/2016 | 3 Comments
Cayman News Service

Bad weather ruins crops in Florida

(CNS): A local supermarket has issued more warnings about a shortage of fresh produce and anticipated price hikes as a result of waterlogged crops in the United States and freezing weather in Mexico. In addition to problems with fruit and vegetable supplies, Foster’s Food Fair said the bad weather has affected Florida corn growers and high prices are expected over the next few months. Torrential rains in December and wet, windy weather this month have caused large-scale damage in Homestead, Florida.

Even if the growers supplying the Cayman market are able to ramp up production next month, corn prices could stay high until the spring production in Belle Glade, Florida.

“Farmers have said that the winter rains are worse than having freezes. With freezes, you still have product available,” a spokesperson for Foster’s said, as they prepared shoppers for more food price hikes.

Mexico’s main growing regions have also been affected by the freeze and while suppliers are looking at supplementing its Florida winter crop with corn from Mexico, freight issues have made this impractical.

The unseasonal weather in California, Florida and Mexico, which is being blamed on El Nino, has caused a shortage of fresh produce and price increases on a list of fruit and vegetables, such as cauliflower, green onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, zucchini, celery, lettuce and asparagus, as well as strawberries, peppers and now corn.

As well as problems with the growth of the crops, farmers are struggling to pick the produce, leaving it to rot in the fields. It is difficult for farmers to pack their produce when it is wet, because moisture accelerates decay and the development of mould on soft vegetables.

With Cayman shoppers already paying high prices for groceries, the price hikes on fresh produce is going to make it even more difficult over the coming months for people to get a healthy balanced diet.

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Comments (3)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    We should go independent

  2. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations Foster on 35 years of managing to ramp up prices at the drop of a hat and never dropping them again…

  3. Sharkey says:

    The Super markets in the US is not complaining about the shortage of produce . Why are Cayman Super. markets complaining ? Where are they importing the produce from? Maybe they should find other sources, or is it about raising prices.

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