CAULIFLOWERS are in danger of running short after extreme weather killed off much of this year's crop.

Heavy rainfall in June destroyed crops in Lincolnshire, and alternative European supplies wilted in last month's heatwave.

Prices of the vegetable have soared, while some farmers have suffered financial losses after the destruction of their crops.

Steve Short, the managing director of Accent Fresh, a Norfolk-based fresh produce supplier, said: "We rely quite heavily on Lincolnshire for our brassica, and we get some from Cambridgeshire, Kent, Evesham, and Cornwall.

"We have had to import them from Holland during the shortages. The growers have lost a lot of crop, so the market is very short and the price has gone up. We've been paying between £1.50 and £2.00 per head of cauliflower, it would normally be about 50 or 60 pence each."

Mr Short said the firm, which supplies about 300 hotels, restaurants, schools, universities and catering establishments across East Anglia, has advised customers to use other well-supplied vegetables, such as carrots and swede, during the shortages.

The poor quality of some of the limited amount of British brassica has seen the firm give out credits to some of its customers, Mr Short said.

Cauliflower is a popular alternative for those looking to reduce their meat intake and Waitrose, Asda, and Morrisons have a range of cauliflower heads currently available for sale on their websites.

Both Tesco and Sainsbury's currently only have organic cauliflower heads for sale on their websites. They are priced at £2 each – £1 more expensive than their standard cauliflowers.

The British Retail Consortium said: "This is yet another example of how retailers are having to manage the effects of climate change, which has created a greater variability in the weather and resulted a slightly poorer harvest in the UK."