You may wonder why various spices, especially the Australian natives, are often in short supply or simply unavailable.
The answer is simply climate change.
Spices are agricultural commodities, and as such are affected by a number of factors.
- The soil and climatic conditions where they are grown
- The expertise and experience of the growers
- The harvesting, post-harvest handling, cleaning and grading
- The standards of bulk packaging and transportation
- The level of quality control and inspection by processors, blenders and re-packers
- The standards applied to allergen and microbiological controls
- The methods used to crack, grind and/or blend
- The barrier properties of spice packs
- The lead times between processing and packing and distribution
As you can see, it all begins with the healthy state of the spice plants!
Most seriously effected at the moment are:
- Bush Tomato/Akudjura – adverse climatic conditions in central Australia (no significant winter rain for 10 years)
- Pepperberry – worst drought in Tasmania for many years
- Wattleseed – drought conditions
Possible substitute ideas for these Australian native spices can be seen on this link: https://www.herbies.com.au/general/substitute-ideas-native-spices/
- Ancho, Pasilla, Mulato, Chipotle and New Mexico chillies from Mexico – production is significantly reduced by the effects of climate change, and many of these unique chillies will be in short supply or not available for some time.
During periods of shortage, it is not uncommon for sub-standard, inferior quality and possibly adulterated herbs and spices to enter the market.
Our policy is to never compromise on quality, so when some of our herbs and spices may be unavailable for these reasons, please bear with us until growing conditions improve.