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Vegetable Shortage and What It Means to Consumers

Update Date: Feb 04, 2017 10:48 AM EST
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After Spain and Italy suffered from floods and recently from extreme frost, people are having a hard time draining the land, preventing them from growing crops. This, in effect, caused the United Kingdom a crisis for the demand of vegetables.

January has been the coldest month in Murcia after 11 years and the amount of rain that initially affected the region last October 2016 was the highest recorded in the last 75 years, Telegraph UK reports. Now, British supermarkets are having a hard time keeping up with the demand of vegetables in the region.

Spain has been the primary source of vegetable imports for the UK since 2015. Spain provided the UK more than 60 pieces cabbages, lettuce, and cauliflowers. The rest of the continent is also having a hard time supplying aubergines and tomatoes. Mid-January, Britain already had problems with courgettes shortage.

In effect, supermarkets like Tesco have already implemented a limit of three iceburg lettuces per visit. Morrisons has already followed Tesco's step and is also putting a plug on the purchase of broccoli. Both supermarkets blamed the weather causing the shortage.

Meanwhile, Sainsbury is also forced to ration iceburg lettuces and broccoli according to The Sun UK. They too, blame the bad weather and the poor growing conditions in Europe leading to the shortage. Almost 70 percent of the growing fields are in poor vegetation condition, mostly in the areas that had experienced heavy rains. Spain and Italy may not be able to produce vegetables for their countries as well.

Vegetable shortage is particularly felt the most in Britain which imports half of its vegetable supply overseas and 90 percent of their fruits. However, supermarkets such as Tesco are already re-assuring customers that their suppliers are already resolving the problem.

The supply of iceburg lettuce, broccoli, courgette and spinach in the United Kingdom has been greatly affected by the weather conditions in the Mediterranean region. Aubergines, cabbages, tomatoes and peppers are also affected as stocks from Spain goes down to 25 percent. Experts, on the other hand, are unsure of the kind of produce that will experience shortage next.

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