Boost for salad prices as supermarkets introduce rationing

The shortage of fresh produce from Spain this winter has caused a spike in prices of several vegetables, and lack of availability, benefiting British growers able to meet the resulting upsurge in demand.

Image: Carl Wycoff (CC BY 2.0)
Image: Carl Wycoff (CC BY 2.0)

Glasshouse salad body Lea Valley Growers tweeted yesterday:

Major increase in orders for #Leevalley growers, Poor Spanish weather = higher wholesale prices & caterers clearing supermarket shelves.

Several major supermarkets have been unable to supply crops such as leafy salads, spinach, broccoli and tomatoes, for which Spain is usually a major winter supplier to the UK market.

In a number of cases, supermarkets including Tesco, Morrison's and Waitrose, have restricted the number of purchases of such vegetables per person.

Meanwhile one Birmingham grower is offering a box of 12 iceberg lettuces via online market Gumtree for £50, or £4.17 each. His advert reads: "A box of a dozen Iceberg lettuce, freshly picked this morning. There are a national shortage of these beauties so the price is a little higher due to supply and demand."

  • Analysis of the issue in next week's Horticulture Week magazine.

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