supplies hit

More supermarkets ration fruit and vegetables

Rationing notice in supermarket

Tesco and Aldi have joined the growing list of supermarkets being forced to ration fruit and vegetables to customers.

They follow Asda and Morrisons in imposing limits on salad vegetables after supplies have been disrupted by poor weather that has hit harvests in southern Europe and north Africa.

An Aldi spokesman said: “We are limiting purchases of peppers, cucumbers and tomatoes to three units per person to ensure that as many customers as possible can buy what they need.”

In a radio interview Sainsbury’s chief executive Justin King that said: “I hate to say it, but it’s a sector that’s been hurt horribly by Brexit”, a comment echoed by Liz Webster, chair of ‘Save British Farming’, who stated: “The reason that we have food shortages in Britain … is because of Brexit”.

The SNP’s Environment, Farming, Agriculture and Rural Affairs spokesperson, Patricia Gibson, leapt on the claims, saying: “With each passing day, the damage of the Tories’ Brexit Britain obsession continues to hit.

“Currently, supermarkets across the four nations are being forced to ration fruit and vegetables – and Brexit is at the root of much of it.” 

However, experts and farmers have insisted the shortages are nothing to do with Brexit and that poor weather in Morocco and Spain coupled with the high price of running gas-heated greenhouses in the UK is to blame.

Tim O’Malley, of importer Nationwide Produce, said wholesale spot prices for fresh produce have soared by as much as 300% in recent weeks.

Explaining why UK supermarket shelves are emptying while European stores remain well-stocked, he said: ‘It’s not about Brexit – it’s about different buying models’. 

Supermarkets are said be refusing to meet higher prices demanded by Spanish and Moroccan growers and are prepared to wait until supplies return to normality.

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