Supermarkets in the UK are facing food shortages

Lately, supermarkets in the UK have faced food shortages. Mainly, due to bad weather in Spain and north Africa, most supermarkets chains across the UK have been rationing the sale of certain fruits and vegetables, while tomatoes are reportedly out of stock.

Tesco, the country’s largest supermarket, Asda and the discounter Aldi have temporarily capped some items to three packs per customer, including peppers, lettuce and cucumbers. Morrisons, the fourth-biggest supermarket chain will limit customers to a maximum of two items.

“The suppliers are proactively working with supermarkets, that’s what we are being told. We are being told there’s an issue for … up to four weeks,” Thérèse Coffey, the UK Environment and Food minister, told parliament on Thursday. “It depends on how badly the crops have been affected. Bad weather at the wrong time can be pretty disastrous,” added the CEO of the British Growers Association.

As per data from the British Retail Consortium (BRC), UK imports in the winter around 95% of its tomatoes and 90% of its lettuces, mainly from Spain and north Africa. This year’s tomato crop in southern Spain is reportedly 20% smaller than a year ago, due to unusually cold weather.

Other voices are blaming Brexit and its imposed costs and bureaucracy for the food shortage. Liz Webster from Save British Farming said in a video on Twitter: “The reason that we have food shortages in Britain, and that we don’t have food shortages in Spain – or anywhere else in the European Union – is because of Brexit, and also because of this disastrous Conservative government that has no interest in food production, farming or even food supply.”

Meanwhile, the Conservative MP Selaine Saxby suggested that people should be eating more seasonally, especially in the winter time. “The supermarkets are still importing far too many products for us and … actually we should be eating more seasonally and supporting our own British farmers,” she said.