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Montevideo, November 20th 2018 - 21:44 UTC

British supermarkets rationing vegetables; adverse weather conditions in Europe

Saturday, February 4th 2017 - 06:24 UTC
Full article 21 comments
“Due to continued weather problems in Spain there is a shortage of iceberg lettuce”, a notice in a Tesco store read. “Due to continued weather problems in Spain there is a shortage of iceberg lettuce”, a notice in a Tesco store read.
Morrisons has also implemented a similar measure, limiting its customers to three iceberg lettuces and three heads of broccoli each. Morrisons has also implemented a similar measure, limiting its customers to three iceberg lettuces and three heads of broccoli each.

British supermarkets have begun rationing vegetables, as adverse weather conditions in Europe have led to a shortage of products in UK stores. On Friday Tesco said customers will be limited to buying a maximum of three iceberg lettuces per visit, adding bad weather in Spain had triggered “availability issues”, although it added suppliers were looking to resolve the issue.

 “Due to continued weather problems in Spain there is a shortage of iceberg lettuce”, a notice in a Tesco store read. “To protect the availability to all our customers, we are limiting bulk purchases to three per person. We apologize for any inconvenience caused.”

A spokesperson for the FTSE 100-listed supermarket said the decision of rationing vegetables had been taken to ensure stores do not run out of products.

Meanwhile, according to the Daily Mail, Morrisons has implemented a similar measure, limiting its customers to three iceberg lettuces and three heads of broccoli each.

“As a result of the fact that the Spanish harvest has been very difficult this year, we have just about enough coming in to supply our customers,” a company spokesman was quoted.

Last month, cold weather and snow devastated crops in southern Europe, leading to a shortage of courgettes on the shelves of British supermarkets. Across Europe, production was down by approximately 40% and the situation could remain difficult should climate in the southern part of the continent not turn warmer over the next two months.

The Spanish association of fruit and vegetable producers, forecast the shortage of leafy vegetables such as lettuce and spinach will continue until early April.

The UK is particularly exposed to the impact of shortages, as it imports approximately 50% of its vegetables and 90% of its fruit.

Spain's Murcia region, which supplies approximately 80% of Europe's fresh supplies during winter, suffered its heaviest rainfall in 30 years last month, which has left barely 30% of its fields in working conditions.

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  • Pete Bog

    Was glad to see USA lettuces were available to replace Spanish produce. Not that I buy it . Luckily produce from other countries can be bought. Another reason Spain needs to wind its neck in about Gibraltar, this highlights how much produce we buy off Spain. At the moment. And Spain exploits refugees from Africa in the most appalling way to produce these vegetables and salads cheaply.

    Feb 04th, 2017 - 12:36 pm +3
  • LEPRecon

    This could be a compelling arguments for the UK to broaden its trade alliances to outside of the EU.

    Then such shortages would be less in the future if the UK had the freedom to import fresh fruit and vegetables from numerous different countries.

    At the moment, because of EU rules, EU countries have a monopoly on supplying many fruits and vegetables. In the future these countries will have to compete will producers from Africa, Asia and North & South America for the UK market.

    It will be interesting to see how it all pans out.

    Feb 04th, 2017 - 04:16 pm +3
  • ElaineB

    @ LEPRecon

    But we already do. The supermarkets are full of produce from Chile, Peru, Guatemala, South Africa …to name but a few.

    Iceberg lettuce is great for making California wraps in the summer but hardly essential in winter. If you know how to cook tasty, healthy meals from scratch there is plenty of fresh produce in the stores.

    This is the masses being manipulated by the press. Panic! A shortage of lettuce in February! Idiots buy more than they need!

    Feb 04th, 2017 - 05:18 pm +3
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