Food shortages are the latest news: Shoppers are tackling UK supermarket rationing

Supermarket condition: UK stores send limits on food after shelves are empty

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

Amid bad weather and transport problems in Africa and Europe, UK supermarket shelves were left without tomatoes, as well as reducing stocks of some other fresh produce.

And while former Sainsbury’s CEO Justin King admitted supply had been affected by bad weather overseas, he also said the sector had been “hurt by Brexit”.

“North Kent, in Thanet, had the biggest greenhouses in Europe, which used to be full of peppers, cucumbers and tomatoes,” he said.

“But those greenhouses suffered, seriously, from two big things. I hate to say it, but it is a sector that has been badly hurt by Brexit.”

Asda has introduced a limit of three per customer on tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, lettuce, salad bags, broccoli, cauliflower and raspberries, while Morrisons said it would be introducing limits of two items per customer on tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce and peppers from today.

Other supermarkets are understood to be considering similar temporary measures.


Basic groceries surge 30% as supermarket confidence falls

The price of basic groceries such as butter, milk and cheese rose by 30% year-on-year at some supermarkets in December, figures show.

While overall food and drink inflation reached 15% in December across the big eight supermarkets, butter and spreads rose by an “impressive” 29.4%, according to tracking by consumer group Which?

Milk was 26.3% more expensive than the previous year, with higher-than-average price increases for cheese (22.3%), bakery goods (19.5%), water (18.6%) and pies, pastries and quiches (18.5% ) higher than average. .

Emily Atkinson22 February 2023 10:02


Supply ‘Hardly hurt by Brexit,’ says ex-CEO of Sainsbury’s

Former Sainsbury’s CEO Justin King admitted that bad weather overseas had affected supply, but that it had also been “horribly hurt by Brexit”.

Mr King told LBC that UK greenhouses, which were previously known for growing tomatoes, had suffered in recent years.

“These are products that we produce, or have produced in the past all year round in the UK,” said Mr King.

He continued: “North Kent, in Thanet, used to have the biggest greenhouses in Europe, full of peppers, cucumbers and tomatoes.

“But those greenhouses suffered, seriously, from two big things. I hate to say it, but it is a sector that has been badly hurt by Brexit.”

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

Emily Atkinson22 February 2023 09:25


Watch: Shelves left bare after supply problems cause supermarket rations

Shelves left bare after supply problems lead to supermarket cuts

Emily Atkinson22 February 2023 09:08


Tesco issues a six-day warning to anyone using a Clubcard

Tesco has issued a voucher-expiring warning to its Clubcard customers as food prices remain at record high levels – with consumer expert Martin Lewis calling in with his own offer.

More than 20 million people in the UK currently have a Tesco Clubcard, which allows shoppers to get special discounts on selected items as well as rack up 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 shop or fuel, spend on themselves at over 100 Rewards Partners including Pizza Express and Spa Seekers or get a new deal with Tesco Mobile .

Maryam Zakir-Hussain22 February 2023 08:25


How to save money on your weekly food shop?

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

Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar, said: “Households will now face an extra £788 on their annual shopping bills unless they change their behavior to reduce costs.”

So how can we change our behavior to save money when we shop for food?

Financial journalist Paul Lewis, presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Money Box and author of the new linking book, offers the following tips…

  • Be aware of psychological ploys

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar22 February 2023 07:50


Extreme weather conditions behind the shortage, says a supermarket director

James Bailey, executive director of supermarket Waitrose, said the product shortage was to blame for the product shortages rather than Brexit.

“It’s snowing and snowing in Spain, it was hitting North Africa last week – that’s destroying a lot of those crops,” he told LBC radio.

“Give it about two weeks and the other growing seasons in other parts of the world will have caught up and we should be able to get that supply back in.”

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar22 February 2023 07:20


Where are the tomatoes?

Britain is facing a shortage of vegetables, particularly tomatoes, after the harvest in southern Europe and northern Africa hit supermarket supplies.

Grocers said the situation was worsened by less winter production in greenhouses in Britain and the Netherlands due to high energy costs.

Although largely self-sufficient during the summer, Britain 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-biggest grocer, said it had introduced a temporary three-pack limit on tomato purchases, while rival Morrisons said it would impose a limit of two items per customer.

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar22 February 2023 06:50


Supermarkets warn of panic buying of fruit and vegetables

Supermarkets across the UK have started rationing fresh food items in a move expected to last “weeks”.

Due to a bad harvest in Europe, Asda is now limiting customers to a maximum of three items such as peppers, lettuce and broccoli.

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

Rich Booth and Eleanor Noyce report.

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar22 February 2023 06:30


Why supermarkets had empty shelves over the weekend

Shoppers hit out after reports of empty shelves in supermarkets across the country at the weekend.

Morrisons has admitted there is a shortage of tomatoes and a general lack of fresh vegetables is reported elsewhere.

Andrea Cowan, SNP councilor for Rutherglen Central & North, posted a photo on Twitter showing the lack of vegetables at a site in her local area.

Eleanor Noyce21 February 2023 22:04


Shortages have been reported in Ireland along with the UK, with Brexit “likely” as a factor

UK supermarkets are not the only ones struggling with fresh produce shortages: stock levels in Ireland have also been reduced.

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

Industry sources told the BBC that the UK could suffer from lower domestic production and more complex supply chains combined with a price-sensitive market. However, these sources suggest that Brexit is “likely” to be a factor.

Wholesaler Ken Mortimer, CEO of Heritage Fine Food Company, does not believe Brexit is the cause of the current shortage.

The impact of the 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 checks.

Eleanor NoyceFebruary 21, 2023 21:00

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