On Saturday on one of my trips to the veg shop I ended up having an interesting discussion with the owners. They were saying how difficult it was getting sourcing the produce they required to sell in the shop. Eatch time they went to their main supplier things were getting less and less. Earlier in the season they also indicated that they were having difficulty getting the variety of the produce they wanted particularly with regard to fruit. They told me that a lot of the exotics are imported and that because of the recession the suppliers were not getting what they wanted money wise from this country so were basically taking the produce to those who would in effect pay top dollar. Never mind that they had always received constant trade from this country. They are only a small independent shop - the produce they do have has always been very good and they waste very little and are quick enough to realise when they can still get something back on produce that is starting to date like apples, tomatoes etc. they are sold off for 50 pence a bag.
I then suggested why don't they approach the smallholder/growers direct out where they come from and she said that there was a particular problem here - the community I live in is a very mixed community and if it is not a certain variety they just will not buy. They even had to stop selling peated potatoes and carrots - which keeps the produce fresher longer because it wasn't washed!
Interestingly enough I haven't seen any blackcurrants this year - I am usually able to get them from the market but this year I have seen none at all. I am just urwondering whether it was a bad year for blackcurrants. I usually make home made Cassis for medicinal purposes of course. It is extremely good if you sustain a very bad cold and very soothing to a sore throat. Better than a sweaty sock tied round your neck to make the lurgey go away.