Britain facing salad shortage because of cold weather in Europe and Africa


While many of us will have made a resolution to eat more healthily during 2017, it seems a salad shortage heading Britain’s way could thwart our efforts. It’s already impossible to find courgettes in shops at the moment and now there is set to be a shortage of other veg, including lettuce and tomatoes.

Cold weather conditions in Spain, France and Morocco have lead to poor crops of vegetables and salad ingredients, including spinach, celery, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers, broccoli, according to wholesalers. Currently, only a third of what is usually available is on supermarket shelves, and prices are soaring as a result of the shortages.

One wholesaler said they expected the shortage to continue to another two months. The problem began because of high rainfall in Murcia and Almeria at the end of the year, with as much rain falling in four days as would normally be experienced in a whole year. With large amounts of crops totally decimated, the rain was then followed by cold weather, meaning that nothing further could be grown.

Out of season

The veg which has been affected are out of season in Britain, which relies on exports during the winter months in particular. Supermarket giants Tesco and Sainsbury’s have both said courgettes are in short supply.

Bristol supplier Nick Matthews said that courgettes were still available, but in greatly reduced quantities. He said he is advising people to buy homegrown alternatives like kale, sprouts and leeks, which they should be able to find. He managed to find the funny side, posting images of boxes of courgettes being guarded by security officials.

Meanwhile, consumers have been tweeting about not being able to find courgettes anywhere. However, they immediately came in for criticism, with people replying that they should buy local, homegrown vegetables rather than relying on imports.