Asda has become the first supermarket chain to introduce a limit “very small number of fruit and vegetable lines” amid supply chain issues.
Asda has announced they are limiting how many peppers, cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes, salad bags, raspberries, cauliflower and broccoli.
Due to bad weather in Europe and Africa UK supermarkets are facing a growing shortage of tomatoes.
Tomato growers in Morocco have had unusually cold weather, flooding and heavy rain over the past few weeks along with ferries being cancelled which has caused a shortage.
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An Asda spokesman said, “Like other supermarkets, we are experiencing sourcing challenges on some products that are grown in southern Spain and north Africa.
“We have introduced a temporary limit of three of each product on a very small number of fruit and vegetable lines, so customers can pick up the products they are looking for.”
Spain who provides the winter source of tomatoes has also been affected by poor weather and this combined with Morocco and cancelled ferries has resulted in the volume of fruit on shelves across UK supermarkets.
Andrew Opie, director of food and sustainability at the British Retail Consortium, with represents UK supermarkets, said, “Difficult weather conditions in the south of Europe and northern Africa have disrupted harvest for some fruit and vegetables including tomatoes.
“However, supermarkets are adept at managing supply chain issues and are working with farmers to ensure that customers are able to access a wide range of fresh produce.”
Earlier on Tuesday the head of the National Farmer’s Union (NFU) has warned that vegetables risk being rationed this year which is what “we saw with eggs in December.”
Minette Batters of the NFU said shoppers could see limits on some vegetables from tomatoes to cauliflower as the UK is heading into “uncertain times” as production is already falling.
Batters said that “field veg” such are purple sprouting broccoli and potatoes could also be impacted this year.
She said, “Everybody wants to avoid rationing, effectively, which is what we saw with eggs in December,” adding, that I think there are going to be challenges on availability of some food items,” such as peppers and salad ingredients which are gown in heated buildings.
She warned in her speech to the NFU conference that “the clock is ticking” for the government to act and stressed that last thing anybody wants to do is to create a level of panic buying.”