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British Supermarkets Face Pepper Shortage Following European Cold Snap

A recent cold snap in Europe, particularly Spain, has led to a shortage of peppers in certain British supermarkets.

Unusually cold weather significantly slowed the growth and harvest of peppers, prompting Morrisons to implement a per-customer limit of two.

The supermarket anticipates this restriction will be lifted within approximately a week as supplies begin to improve.

Waitrose, also contending with supply issues, has pledged close collaboration with suppliers to restore full stock in the coming weeks as the UK transitions into its growing season.

British supermarkets rely solely on Spain for peppers during the winter. Andrew Opie, director of food and sustainability at the British Retail Consortium, commented: “Difficult weather conditions in the south of Europe disrupted harvest for some fruit and vegetables, including peppers.

"A few stores have implemented temporary limits on how much customers can buy to ensure availability for everyone. Availability should improve for those impacted in the coming weeks as we enter UK growing season.”

This recent pepper shortage follows widespread rationing imposed earlier this year by supermarkets on a range of fruit and vegetables.

The initial shortages, first noticed with tomatoes around February 20th, were attributed to poor weather conditions in Europe and Africa. Shortages quickly spread to cucumbers, peppers, and lettuce, leaving shelves empty.

Tesco, Aldi, and Lidl placed a purchase limit of three items per customer for peppers, tomatoes, and cucumbers. Morrisons restricted customers to two items across tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, and peppers. Adverse weather conditions hampered production in Morocco and Spain, Britain's main winter suppliers.

The National Farmers' Union (NFU) warned that the prior fruit and vegetable shortages could be "the tip of the iceberg". Deputy President Tom Bradshaw emphasized the UK's vulnerability to supply disruptions due to a reliance on imports.


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