The cost and supply of fruit and vegetables for pubs could be hit by Brexit and employment issues, according to a new report - but pubs still have options for dishes.

The study, by buying specialists Lynx Purchasing, claims growers are struggling to recruit migrant labour to UK farms, which could impact the production of fruit and vegetables to the UK hospitality trade.

Managing director of Lynx Purchasing, Rachel Dobson, said that pubs should continue to "make the most" of fresh, seasonal produce, but this summer picking season will be affected by a labour shortage.

Rachel said: "With fresh salad crops and summer berries now ready for picking, the industry is struggling to recruit enough seasonal workers.

"It's not simply concerns about Brexit, although that's a factor; EU workers now have a wider range of employment options and many have seen wages increase in their own country or can travel somewhere closer to home for seasonal work."

Rachel said there was "a risk" that produce could simply be left in fields as a result – and farmers have asked for a commitment from government to allow access to seasonal and permanent workers for fruit and vegetable picking.

A number of other hospitality trends were also revealed in the Lynx Purchasing Market Forecast, including:


Currently 75 per cent of the current UK catch is exported. 

Pubs can take advantage of the UK-caught species in season such as hake, plaice, and lemon sole.


Beef will see a seasonal increase in price with forequarter cuts rising 15 to 20 per cent as barbecue season increases burger demand.

Lamb has also hit a five year high in terms of price, with the UK exporting more lamb due to the exchange rate.

Switching to topside and silverside cuts can ensure better value for pubs.


Milk output did not rise this spring due to cold weather.

Butter and cream prices will continue to rise in the next few months as lower production increases demand.

Pubs can look at using alternatives or changing to dishes which require less dairy produce.


Price increases have been driven by poor crops and domestic unrest in Madagascar.

Vanilla extract for ice cream and desserts has seen wholesale prices rise by almost a third as a result.

Pubs could consider different flavour options to vanilla to offset the price hike.

Rachel says: "Growers have largely caught up, so it would be a shame now if caterers have to reduce the amount of fresh produce featured on summer menus due to higher costs caused by the labour shortage.

"We'll be monitoring the situation and advising customers as the season progresses."