Brits warned of empty shelves in grocery stores

Shortages of fresh vegetables could become commonplace in the UK in the near future, farmers warn

Brits warned of empty shelves in grocery stores
Empty fruit and vegetable shelves at an Asda in east London. ©  Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images

UK consumers may have to get used to empty shelves in supermarkets due to unprecedented shortages of fresh vegetables amid record food price inflation and skyrocketing energy costs, Reuters reported on Tuesday.

British shoppers have been experiencing a scarcity of fresh food for months as sales of tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and some fruits were limited by most of the country’s largest supermarkets due to supply deficiency. Poor weather conditions have disrupted harvests in Europe and North Africa, while inflation led to higher costs for produce from the UK’s key markets such as Spain, the outlet said.

Britain imports around 95% of its tomatoes over the winter, according to the British Retail Consortium. In January, the UK bought 266,273 tons of vegetables – the smallest amount for any January since 2010 when the country’s population was 7% smaller than at present, tax office data showed.

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