UK Faces Tomato Shortage As Bad Weather Hits Crops In Europe And Africa

The UK relies on Morocco and Spain for tomatoes but they have struggled with poor weather.

Poor weather in Europe and Africa has led to shortage of some fruits and vegetables, including tomatoes, in the UK, according to a report in the BBC. Several social media users have posted photos of empty shelves in the supermarkets in the last few days. They are more concerned about the disruption in the supply of tomatoes, a key ingredient in many dishes. A significant part of tomatoes that are consumed in Britain come from Morocco and Southern Spain, which have been hit by extreme weather events, the BBC further said.

There was first the warm weather, which affected crop yields, and then a cold snap that led to longer growth times.

“Supermarkets are adept at managing supply chain issues and working with farmers to ensure that customers are able to access a wide range of fresh produce,” Andrew Opie, director of food and sustainability at British Retail Consortium (BRC), which represents the major supermarket groups, told the BBC.

And it’s not just tomatoes, cucumbers are also in limited supply and peppers are failing to ripen, said the Heritage Fine Food Company, a wholesaler which supplies restaurants, cafes and schools.

Last year, the grocery stores in Britain suffered supply chain disruptions due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine but availability was much improved in the run-up to Christmas, with an exception being eggs, news agency Reuters said in its article.

In winter, Britain has typically imported around 90 per cent of crops like cucumbers and tomatoes, but has been nearly self-sufficient in the summer.

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