Poor weather damages crops in Europe and Africa, UK faces tomato shortage
According to a BBC article, unfavourable weather in Europe and Africa has caused a shortfall of several fruits and vegetables, especially tomatoes, in the UK. In the past few days, a number of social media users have shared pictures of store shelves that are empty. They are particularly worried about the interruption of the tomato supply because tomatoes are a vital component of many cuisines. According to the BBC, Morocco and Southern Spain, which have both been impacted by extreme weather, supply a sizeable portion of the tomatoes that are consumed in Britain.
Crop yields were first impacted by the warm weather, followed by a cold snap that prolonged growing times.
In order to ensure that customers have access to a variety of fresh produce, supermarkets are skilled at managing supply chain issues and collaborating with farmers, according to Andrew Opie, director of food and sustainability at the British Retail Consortium (BRC), which represents the major supermarket groups.
In addition to tomatoes, the Heritage Fine Food Company, a wholesaler that feeds restaurants, cafes, and schools, said that cucumbers are also in short supply and peppers are not ripening.
According to Reuters, despite supply chain problems caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year, availability in the weeks leading up to Christmas significantly improved, with eggs being the only exception.
While cucumbers and tomatoes have historically been brought into Britain in the winter, the country has historically been almost self-sufficient in the summer.