I have to say that it has been a difficult time for us here at Rainbow Wholefoods. On April 11th our shop, in the centre of Norwich, caught fire and everything in the place with the exception of two fire extinguishers was destroyed. We managed to rent a temporary shop around the corner, at the old Andy’s Record shop, and get re-opened but it was a difficult, hectic and exhausting time. Things have been quite lively on the High Street as well with several well known names closing shops or shedding jobs. In most cases these are big stores in primary locations whereas our sector tends to trade from secondary sites. It raises the debate about the modern way of trading on-line being a little too modern for the local authority way of raising finance through funds. If physical shops are discriminated against because they pay rates they will diminish and those rates payments will diminish equally. This is a complex problem but it does seem pretty clear that some re-balancing is needed if our town and city centres are not destined to look, and be, unattractively unhealthy.
Richard Austin opines:
Almonds: Estimates on the 2018 crop are around 2.4 billion lbs and this is pushing prices up until a clearer picture emerges at the start of July. Cashews: The present crop looks the best for three years so we are still hoping for some lower prices to relieve the recent currency based firming. Pecans: China dominates this market and we may see some price easing but it hasn’t come yet. Brazils: Prices should settle now that supply is returning to normal. Raisins: Californian fruit is poor quality and highly priced leaving opportunities for Turkey, Chile and South Africa fruits. The first recovery would be in September when the new crop arrives. Apricots: The crop has been good prices are coming down substantially. Figs: Weather conditions look good for the new crop and there is the hope that prices will ease accordingly. Sunflower: The increase in soya prices is affecting this market but prices remain at reasonable levels and look stable. Pumpkin Seed: The market is very low and farmers and traders are sitting on stock waiting for price firming. Pesticide levels continue to be a cause of concern with these seeds.