Salad shortage may last another month, says UK govt 

Oluwanifemi Ojo
Oluwanifemi Ojo
Empty tray in a store

The United Kingdom’s government has said that there may be a continued shortage of salad staples, including tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers, for another month.

Reuters reported that Britain’s biggest supermarket group Tesco joined its competitors Asda, Morrisons and Aldi to impose a limit on the purchase of salad fruits and vegetables.

This was after southern Europe and north Africa experienced a decline in supply because of unseasonal weather.

According to Reuters, the challenge of the supply of salad items worsened as a result of lower winter production in greenhouses in Britain and the Netherlands due to high energy prices.

Meanwhile, Social media is flooded with images of store fruit and vegetable shelves that are empty.

The minister for the environment, food and rural affairs,Therese Coffey, said to  parliament, “I’m led to believe by my officials after discussion with industry retailers…the situation will last about another two to four weeks.”

In her words, “It’s important that we try and make sure that we get alternative sourcing options.”

However, Reuters reported that the Spanish group of fresh product exporters, FEPEX, said vegetable supply would shortly increase.

Meanwhile, one of the most seasoned retail executives in Britain attributed the scarcity to a lack of government backing that hindered domestic producers from making up for subpar crops abroad.

According to a non-executive director of Marks & Spencer, Justin King, the fact that the government decided not to assist UK producers with their energy expenditures makes Britain particularly vulnerable to imports at this time of year.

“There is a genuine shortage but we did rather bring this problem upon ourselves.

“We could have chosen to subsidise the energy this winter as we have done for other industries, ” he said to BBC radio.

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