My ‘onion growing’ cousin told me today that the price of onions has collapsed to about £45/tonne. The supermarkets are selling them at 46p/kg, £460/tonne. Nothing new there!
UK farmers have had very good yields this year so there is oversupply and the price has dropped, lower than their production cost. Helped further by Dutch growers dumping onions on our market. Apparently it is cheaper for the Dutch to send them here at a net price of just £8/tonne than to pay for them to be disposed of! (£8/tonne is 16p for a 20kg bag!)
So, find an onion grower, or ask your local farm shop, using our local food map, and get your recipe books out. Onion soup, Goulash, tart, lasagne, flan, shepherd pie, stews, beef burgers, bolognese, to name a few. Indeed most soups and dishes are improved with onions.
Onions also store extremely well kept in a cool dry place.
This is another example of how the national food industry does not work for farmers or consumers. How many people noticed that the price of onions has dropped in the supermarket, or that farmers will make a loss?
In a local food industry, consumers hear about onions being cheaper and are encouraged to buy more onions, especially if producers add recipe cards to the onion display.
Perhaps more important, by supplying local farm shops and small retailers, farmers are encouraged to grow a wider range of products, rather than specialise, as most do at the moment.
And onions are very good for you, so here’s to a hot soup, warning stew, healthy winter. If you have a great onion recipe please feedback below.