Shortage is enough to make pasty men weep ...

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Related tags: Cornwall

A lack of UK onions is hitting pasty makers, according to manufacturer Proper Cornish.Md Phil Ulgalde told Food Manufacture: "Rising prices have...

A lack of UK onions is hitting pasty makers, according to manufacturer Proper Cornish.

Md Phil Ulgalde told Food Manufacture: "Rising prices have levelled off, but they are still 40% higher than they were last year."

Onion is one of the core constituents of Proper Cornish's pasties and while Ulgalde said his company, based in Bodmin, Cornwall, preferred to source ingredients locally, it had been forced to look as far afield as Poland. But that, too, has been hit by poor growing conditions.

Roughly 100,000t of UK onions - or up to 30% - go for processing. "That has been declining because Polish imports are much cheaper," said Jonathan Tole, chairman of the British Onion Growers Association. Bad weather earlier in the season had delayed the UK harvest by a month, leading to severe shortages, but prices should ease over the next few weeks as the new crop was released, he said.

Ulgalde said hikes in all raw material costs meant it had joined other processors in negotiating higher on-shelf prices with retailers.

"I think we're not going to be able to avoid passing these costs through," he said.

Proper Cornish makes a range of own-label pasties and pastries by hand. It has launched a limited branded range into Sainsbury and aims to roll it out to other major retailers.

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