More food shortage may put pressure on price of products in the UK

Food shortage hits UK
Image: Reuters

Brits already struggling from the greatest spike in food prices since 1977 may have to get accustomed to more shortages. High costs and unpredictable weather undermine local output.

In recent weeks, British consumers have experienced a shortage of tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers, This is mostly due to disrupted harvests in north Africa. Inflation is also forcing industry buyers to pay more for less for key markets such as Spain.

In January 2023, the United Kingdom imported 266,273 tonnes of vegetables, the lowest quantity since 2010. The population was around 7% fewer than it is currently at that time

The UK’s production of salad ingredients is expected to reach a record low this year.  Mostly due to the high cost of energy, which discourages farmers from planting crops in greenhouses.

The conditions have contributed to food price inflation in the United Kingdom reaching levels not seen in nearly fifty years.

Tuesday’s industry data from market researcher Kantar revealed that grocery price inflation in the United Kingdom reached a record 17.5% in the four weeks leading up to March 19, highlighting the problem for policymakers.

Recognizing that their customers cannot afford to spend as much, a number of food retailers in the United Kingdom are reducing their purchases and, as a result, suffering a decline in profits.

Jack Ward stated that the future of Britain’s fresh food producers is currently uncertain. He is the chief executive officer of the British Growers Association. “Growers can only produce items at a loss for so long,” he said.

As a result of summer drought and winter frosts, growers, farming unions, and shop owners foresee further shortages. It may soon spread to other homegrown crops, including leeks, cauliflower, and carrots.

Many poultry and pig farmers have left the industry

In March, the United Kingdom imports approximately 95% of its tomatoes. However, that number drops to 40% from June to September.

The warnings come after supermarkets were forced to ration egg sales at the end of last year. As a result, many poultry and pig farmers have left the industry.

Growers of apples and pears have also expressed concern that not enough trees are being planted to sustain orchards.

The salad crisis has shed light on the precarious state of Britain’s fresh produce industry, despite assurances from the government and supermarkets that supply is secure.

Lee Stiles, secretary of the Lea Valley Growers Association, whose members produce approximately three-quarters of Britain’s cucumber and sweet pepper crop, reported in March that approximately fifty percent of the membership had not yet planted, while ten percent had ceased trading in the previous year.

About News Team

Hi, I'm Alex Perez, an experienced writer with a focus on lifestyle and culture news. From food and fashion to travel and entertainment, I love exploring the latest trends and sharing my insights with readers. I also have a strong interest in world news and business, and enjoy covering breaking stories and events.

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