Fruit and vegetables on ration in British supermarkets

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Empty shelves in a London supermarket
NOS News

Large supermarkets in the United Kingdom limit the sale of fruit and vegetables per customer. Those who want to buy tomatoes, peppers or cucumbers at Tesco, the largest British supermarket, will only receive a limited number, the BBC writes. The same goes for Aldi. The reason is a fruit and vegetable shortage. Other supermarkets also ration lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower and raspberries.

The British government blames the shortage on the cold and wet weather this winter in Spain and Morocco. In winter, the country imports 95 percent of its tomatoes and 90 percent of its lettuce from there. High energy prices also play a role. As a result, less fruit and vegetables are grown in greenhouses in the United Kingdom and also in the Netherlands than before.

The British retail organization BRC expects the shortages to last for a few weeks. After that, the growing season will start again in the country and supermarkets would have found alternative supply lines.

Only in May

Wholesalers are more pessimistic. “Most tomatoes, peppers and aubergines will not be available in large quantities before May,” the wholesaler LVGA told the BBC.

The company also says that it is not just the high energy prices that are causing British horticulturists to stop growing for a while. The low prices that the supermarkets offer would also be important.

10 percent of British horticulturalists would have stopped because British supermarkets are not prepared to pay the horticulturists more, despite the increased costs of energy and fertilizer.

Naturally, the question also arises as to whether leaving the EU plays a role in the United Kingdom. Traders denied this to the BBC. The European farmers’ organization Copa-Copega says that this has not helped the British in any case.

The supply of some vegetables is also limited in the Netherlands. That translates into higher prices, said the director of Veiling Zaltbommel Gerard van den Anker to NOS.

Vegetables increasingly expensive: ‘Cauliflower of 3.50 is a shock’
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