Lidl becomes the latest supermarket to ration vegetables
- Supermarkets are rationing fruit and veg as shelves remain empty
- Crisis as rising energy costs force farmers to shut down greenhouses
Lidl is the latest supermarket to ration vegetables as it imposes a cap on peppers, cucumbers and tomatoes.
Supermarkets are rationing fruit and vegetables as shelves across the country continue to remain empty.
Tesco and Aldi joined Asda and Morrisons last week to ration fruit and vegetables.
A Lidl spokeswoman told MailOnline: “As our customers were told through signage in our stores last week, adverse weather conditions in Spain and Morocco have recently impacted the availability of certain salad items across the supermarket sector.
“While we still have good availability in most of our stores, due to a recent increase in demand, we have made the decision to temporarily limit the purchase of peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers to three items per person.
“This will help ensure all of our customers have access to the products they need.”
The crisis has unfolded in recent weeks as rising energy costs have forced UK farmers to shut down greenhouses as they desperately try to make ends meet.
Meanwhile, a “perfect storm” of flooding, cold temperatures and canceled ferries have caused major supply problems.
Food Secretary Mark Spencer has summoned supermarket bosses to explain “what they are doing to restock shelves in the face of fresh fruit and vegetable shortages”.
Mr Spencer said: “The current situation – caused by the recent bad weather in North Africa – shows how dependent we can be on certain trade routes for some types of food.
“I know families expect the fresh produce they need to be on the shelves when they do their weekly grocery shopping. So I’m calling on supermarket bosses to find out what they’re doing to restock shelves and to outline how we can avoid a repeat.
“While we do our shopping we should all thank the tens of thousands of farmers and food producers in the UK for feeding us all year round and in particular for showing that they are keeping the nation running during the pandemic.”
As a precaution, Tesco and Aldi are restricting customers to three units of tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers, while Asda is also restricting customers to lettuce, lettuce bags, broccoli, cauliflower and raspberries.
Morrisons has set a limit of two items per customer for tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce and peppers.
Retailers believe the problems are due to poor yields on the continent and in North Africa and that supply will improve in the coming days or weeks.