Food shortages latest news: Shoppers rage over UK supermarket rationing

Supermarket rationing: UK shops introduce food restrictions after shelves ran out

UK supermarkets have started rationing selected fruit and vegetables as supply problems leave shelves empty across the country.

A combination of bad weather and transport problems in Africa and Europe has left UK supermarket shelves empty of tomatoes, as well as dwindling stocks of some other fresh produce.

And while former Sainsbury’s CEO Justin King acknowledged that bad weather abroad has hurt supply, he also said the sector has been “horribly damaged by Brexit”.

“North Kent, in Thanet, [had] the largest greenhouses in Europe that used to be full of peppers, cucumbers and tomatoes,” he continued.

“But these greenhouses have really suffered from two major things. I hate to say it, but it is a sector that has suffered terribly from Brexit.”

Asda has introduced a limit of three per customer for tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, lettuce, lettuce bags, broccoli, cauliflower and raspberries, and Morrisons said it would introduce a limit of two items per customer for tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce and peppers from Today .

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Other supermarkets are understood to be considering similar temporary measures.


Staples up 30% as confidence in supermarkets falls

Prices of staples like butter, milk and cheese rose 30% year-on-year in some supermarkets in December, figures show.

While headline food and drink inflation hit 15% in December across the eight major supermarkets, butter and spreads rose a “staggering” 29.4%, according to surveys by consumer group Which?

Milk was 26.3% more expensive than a year earlier, but so were cheese (22.3%), baked goods (19.5%), water (18.6%) and savory pies, pastries and quiches (18.5% ) rose above average .

Emily AtkinsonFebruary 22, 2023 10:02 am


Supply “horribly hurt by Brexit,” says former Sainsbury’s CEO

Former Sainsbury’s CEO Justin King acknowledged that supplies have been impacted by bad weather abroad but have also been “horribly hurt by Brexit”.

Mr King told LBC that UK greenhouses, previously known to grow tomatoes, have suffered in recent years.

“These are products that we have been making or have made in the UK all year round,” Mr King said.

He continued: “North Kent, in Thanet, [had] the largest greenhouses in Europe, which used to be full of peppers, cucumbers and tomatoes.

“But these greenhouses have really suffered from two major things. I hate to say it, but it is a sector that has suffered terribly from Brexit.”

Mr King also claimed that the supermarket industry has suffered from the government’s decision to exclude it from its energy support scheme.

Emily AtkinsonFebruary 22, 2023 9:25 am


Observe: Shelves left empty after supply problems result in supermarket rations

Shelves left empty after supply problems led to supermarket rations

Emily AtkinsonFebruary 22, 2023 9:08 am


Tesco gives a six-day warning to anyone using a club card

More than 20 million people in the UK currently hold a Tesco Clubcard, which allows shoppers to receive special discounts on selected items and earn points which they can later redeem as vouchers to use in-store.

Customers can use their Clubcard vouchers to reduce the cost of their weekly groceries or fuel, get a discount at more than 100 rewards partners including Pizza Express and Spa Seekers or start new business with Tesco Mobile.

Maryam Zakir-HussainFebruary 22, 2023 8:25 am


How can you save money on your weekly grocery shopping?

Shoppers will face an extra £788 on their annual grocery bill due to food price inflation, retail analysts Kantar said.

Fraser McKevitt, Head of Retail and Consumer Insight at Kantar, said: “Households are now facing an extra £788 on their annual grocery bills if they don’t change their behavior to cut costs.”

So how can we change our behavior to save money when shopping for groceries?

Financial journalist Paul Lewis, presenter of BBC Radio 4’s ‘Piggy Bank’ program and author of the new companion book, shares the following tips…

  • Watch out for psychological tricks

Alisha Rahaman SarkarFebruary 22, 2023 07:50


Extreme weather conditions behind shortages, says supermarket manager

James Bailey, chief executive of Waitrose supermarket, said extreme weather rather than Brexit was to blame for the product shortages.

“It snowed and hailed in Spain, last week it hailed in North Africa – it’s wiping out a lot of these crops,” he told LBC radio.

Alisha Rahaman SarkarFebruary 22, 2023 07:20


where are the tomatoes

The UK is facing shortages of vegetables, particularly tomatoes, after disrupted harvests in southern Europe and North Africa hit supermarket supplies.

Grocers said the situation has been exacerbated by lower winter production in greenhouses in Britain and the Netherlands due to high energy costs.

Although Britain is largely self-sufficient in summer, it typically imports 95 percent of its tomatoes and 90 percent of its lettuce from December to March, according to BRC data.

Asda, Britain’s third-largest grocer, said it had introduced a temporary three-pack limit on tomatoes purchases, while rival Morrisons said it would cap two items per customer.

Alisha Rahaman SarkarFebruary 22, 2023 6:50 am


Supermarkets are rationing fruit and vegetables and warning against buying hamsters

Supermarkets across the UK have started rationing fresh food, which is expected to take “weeks”.

A poor harvest in Europe means Asda is now limiting its customers to a maximum of three items, such as peppers, lettuce and broccoli.

Morrisons will also launch a ban on more than two items from today, with limited products including tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce and peppers.

Rich Booth and Eleanor Noyce report.

Alisha Rahaman SarkarFebruary 22, 2023 06:30


Why supermarkets had empty shelves at the weekend

Shoppers have lashed out after reports of empty shelves in supermarkets across the country over the weekend.

Morrisons has acknowledged a tomato shortage and elsewhere reports a general shortage of fresh vegetables.

Andrea Cowan, the SNP councilwoman for Rutherglen Central & North, posted a photo on Twitter showing a shortage of vegetables at a site near her.

Eleanor NoyceFebruary 21, 2023 10:04 p.m


Bottlenecks are reported in Ireland alongside the UK, with Brexit ‘unlikely’ a factor

Not only British supermarkets are struggling with fresh produce shortages, stocks are also depleted in Ireland.

Tesco Ireland has reported that its stock levels have been temporarily affected, with locally owned chain SuperValu confirming similar problems.

Industry circles shared this BBC that the UK could suffer from lower domestic production and more complex supply chains alongside a price sensitive market. However, these sources suggest that Brexit is “unlikely”.

Wholesaler Ken Mortimer, CEO of Heritage Fine Food Company, doesn’t believe Brexit is the cause of the current shortages.

The impact of new border procedures for fruit and vegetable imports will not be seen until January 2024. Imports from Morocco – outside the EU – are already subject to border controls.

Eleanor NoyceFebruary 21, 2023 9:00 p.m


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