Some UK supermarkets have restricted the purchase of certain fruits and vegetables by customers due to “supply issues” caused by weather conditions in Southern Europe and North Africa.
The kingdom has been suffering from a shortage of tomatoes for some time now, but shortages have also extended to other types of fruits and vegetables, prompting retailers to impose restrictions on sales.
The move comes after farmers and suppliers in Morocco reported difficult conditions, from freezing temperatures to heavy rains and flooding in recent weeks, which have impacted output.
Bad weather, which also affected farmers in southern Spain, led to the cancellation of the ferry service, exacerbating supply issues.
“Difficult weather conditions in southern Europe and North Africa have hampered the harvest of some fruits and vegetables, including tomatoes and bell peppers,” Andrew Opie of the British Retail Consortium said in a statement.
“The outage is expected to last a few weeks, but stores can address supply chain issues and work with farmers to ensure customers have access to a wide range of fresh produce,” he added.
A spokesman for Asda, one of the UK supermarket groups, pointed to “problems on the source side in getting some products” grown in the region.
“We have introduced a time limit of three per product for a very small amount of fruits and vegetables so that customers can get the products they are looking for,” he added.
This treatment includes tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, lettuce, lettuce bags, broccoli, cauliflower, and berries.
For its part, the Morrisons supermarket chain said it will allow each customer to buy only two tomatoes, a cucumber, a lettuce and a pepper starting today, Wednesday.