#SaladCrisis #UKGreenhouseAgriculture #FoodInflation #SupplyChain #Retailers #Consumers
The UK National Farmers Union warns that greenhouse agriculture in Britain is perilously close to crisis, as the country faces a shortage of some fruits and vegetables in supermarkets. The ongoing energy inflation due to tragic events in Ukraine has driven up costs to levels that have not been seen before, making it challenging for growers to get the returns that justify planting their glasshouses. As a result, many glasshouses remain empty, and farmers are reluctant to take the risk of planting crops, not thinking they’d get the returns from the marketplace.
Crisis Point Reached
According to Tom Bradshaw, the deputy leader of the UK National Farmers Union, “things have just hit a tipping point.” He added, “we’ve been warning about this moment for the past year.” Bradshaw stated that the shortage of some fruit and vegetables is just the tip of the iceberg.
വിതരണ ശൃംഖലയിലെ തടസ്സങ്ങൾ
The supply of items like tomatoes and cucumbers from North Africa and southern Spain has been affected due to colder than usual winter weather and transport link disruptions. A large percentage of some fruits and vegetables are imported from the two countries during the winter, while the balance is often supplied from greenhouses in the UK. However, as energy prices soared last year, fewer hectares of crops such as tomatoes were planted.
Several UK supermarkets limited the quantities each customer could buy of some fruits and vegetables earlier in the week following a shortage of imports from Morocco and Spain. Meanwhile, some distributors and independent growers have pointed out that the reduced supply of certain imported fruits and vegetables is not the only reason for empty shelves. Some supermarkets are unwilling to pay higher prices for them, risking empty shelves.
With food inflation running at a record 16.7 per cent in the UK, consumers are becoming hyper-sensitive to upward movements in prices. Shoppers have noticed the availability of basic perishable foods becoming less and less over the last few months, with some shelves empty.
As the salad crisis in the UK continues to unfold, it is essential for all stakeholders, including growers, retailers, and consumers, to work together to ensure a stable supply chain. Finding a way to pass costs up the supply chain and paying the right price for produce will help farmers invest in food production for the future. Only then can we ensure that the availability of basic perishable foods remains constant, and empty shelves become a thing of the past.