Some supermarkets in the UK have introduced rationing of iceberg lettuce and broccoli because poor weather in southern Spain has led to a national shortage.
Tesco, the country’s largest supermarket, has limited ‘bulk purchases’ to three per person. Morrisons has imposed a two-lettuce and three-broccoli-head limit on shoppers.
Aldi and Lidl stocks are reportedly unaffected.
Dieter Lloyd, from the British Leafy Salads Association told British media:
“Southern Spain provides around 80% of the fresh produce for the EU out of season, so it is not just the UK”.
He went on to say that stocks are 30-50% of what is normally available. The challenge, he said, “is we are not the only people buying it.”
Courgettes and aubergines are also in short supply. Panic buying is said to have contributed to the introduction of rationing and customers are being asked to ‘shop responsibly’. Vegetable vendors are complaining of an almost doubling in the price of wholesale lettuce to as much as 1.75 EUR.
Last weekend all angry cos I couldn't buy veg. Wanted to tweet
sainsburys</a> but then calmed down. Now I know - <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/vegetableshortage?src=hash">#vegetableshortage</a> REALLY?? 😳 <a href="https://t.co/fnjDAEdciA">pic.twitter.com/fnjDAEdciA</a></p>— Charlotte Pattison (Char_PJ) January 20, 2017
The Spanish association of fruit and vegetable producers expects the shortage to continue until April.