The United Kingdom is now facing new economic challenges as supermarkets are forced to limit sales of fruits and vegetables due to supply shortages. This is a result of higher energy costs, which have prompted domestic farmers to cut production, and adverse weather conditions abroad.
Tomato, pepper, and cucumber purchases at Britain’s largest grocery chain, Tesco, are now capped at three per customer. Bad weather overseas was cited as the reason for the move, and the company promised to work with its suppliers to “get things back to normal.”
In addition, Asda has a limit of three lettuce heads, salad bags, cauliflowers, and raspberries per customer, whereas Morrisons only allows two lettuce heads, two tomatoes, and two peppers per customer. The German budget grocery stores Aldi and Lidl have also implemented new rules.
The National Farmers’ Union and other groups had previously raised concern about rising energy prices affecting British greenhouse farmers’ capacity to grow certain fruits and vegetables.
In an email, British Retail Consortium director of food and sustainability Andrew Opie said poor weather in Southern Europe and Northern Africa had damaged harvests, causing a crisis.
Opie has estimated that the disruption will last for several weeks.
The British Retail Consortium estimates that during the winter months, Britain imports approximately 95% of its tomatoes.