Vegetable crisis in the UK: Supermarkets rationing vegetables as shortage caused by floods, snow and storms across the Mediterranean hits hard


    Vegetable rationing in supermarkets such as Sainsbury’s (pictured) has begun and stores have been limiting purchases of vegetables across the UK Photo Daily Mail.

    Supermarkets in the UK are struggling to
    provide vegetables to their customers because of the recent bad weather in Spain
    Italy and Greece.
    It started last month with some
    supermarkets having problems stocking courgettes and spinach, while iceberg
    lettuce is now being rationed by some chains.
    A combination of flooding, cold weather and
    poor light levels in southern Europe is said to have created the “perfect
    storm” of poor growing conditions.
    During the winter months, Spain’s
    south-eastern Murcia region supplies 80% of Europe’s fresh produce. But after
    suffering its heaviest rainfall in 30 years, only 30% of Murcia’s growing fields
    are useable.
    This has coincided with a cold snap in
    Italy, which normally exports vegetables at this time of the year but is now
    having to import them.
    The effects of shortages are particularly
    pronounced in Britain, which imports an estimated 50% of its vegetables and 90%
    of its fruit.
    The Grocer magazine’s fresh and chilled
    foods editor, Kevin White, told the BBC he could not recall the weather
    affecting supplies so severely, reports the BBC.
    Meanwhile The Daily Mail reports: Supermarkets
    have started rationing vegetables amid a shortage caused by floods, snow and
    storms across the Mediterranean farming belt.
    Tesco said: ‘Due to bad weather conditions
    in Spain, we are experiencing a few availability issues, but are working with
    our suppliers to resolve them as quickly as possible.’
    And Sainsbury’s said: ‘Severe weather has
    affected crops, but we are working with our suppliers to maintain supply for
    our customers.’

    The problem has become so serious that
    British wholesalers have taken the unusual step of importing produce from
    California, despite the high cost of air freight.

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