Shortage of Tomatoes in British Supermarkets

World | February 21, 2023, Tuesday // 08:59
Bulgaria: Shortage of Tomatoes in British Supermarkets

Supplies to British supermarkets of some fruit and vegetables, including tomatoes, have been severely disrupted by bad weather in Europe and Africa.

The British Retail Consortium said the harvest had suffered from "difficult conditions". There have been a lot of pictures on social media lately of empty supermarket shelves. Sources in the food industry acknowledged that there were temporary problems in the supply chain.

The shortage of tomatoes seems most striking. A significant proportion of the tomatoes that the British consume during the winter months are grown in Morocco and southern Spain, which have recently been hit first by the warm weather, which has affected yields, and then by the subsequent cold spell, which has meant more long growing time. Canceled ferries from Morocco due to bad weather also affected supplies.

Andrew Opie, of the British Retail Consortium, told the BBC that supermarkets were able to deal with supply chain issues and were working with farmers to ensure customers had access to a wide range of fresh produce. However, a company that is a wholesaler was also quoted as saying that sourcing tomatoes was an "incredible challenge".

The same goes for cucumbers, and peppers are said to have no time to ripen.

Some of the fruit and vegetables Britain imports in winter come from the Netherlands, where they are grown in large greenhouses. There is no word yet on whether these supplies have also been disrupted, given the high energy prices.

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Tags: shortage, british, supermarkets, tomatoes

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