Rain in Spain ruins courgettes and lettuces and ups prices

Rain in Spain has devastated crops and greenhouses in the Murcia region, which is the main source of much of the UK’s fresh produce at this time of year.

The nation’s diet plans are on hold amid a shortage of fresh produce such as courgettes, tomatoes, lettuce, peppers and aubergines.

Rain in Spain has devastated crops and greenhouses in the Murcia region, which is the main source of much of the UK’s fresh produce at this time of year.

Courgettes are at the centre of weight loss regimes following the popularity of spiralizers, which turn them into healthy versions of spaghetti.

However, the shelves or leading supermarkets are empty and the grocery websites simply state ‘Sorry, this product is currently not available’.

The shortages mean that the wholesale prices for courgettes, tomatoes and other produce have soared in recent weeks.

Jordi Vorderman, the UK sales manager at Dutch vegetable supplier Valstar Holland, said: ‘Everybody in January tries to eat a more healthy diet, but the real problem is supply. And it’s not just courgettes. Lots of prices are extraordinarily high – peppers, aubergines, tomatoes.’

He added: ‘The main issue is that supplies are low because of cold nights in Spain and Italy. The cold affects courgettes a lot.

‘During the summer prices are between £4 and £6 for a 5kg box, but prices now are very high, above £20.’

He said some UK supermarkets were not prepared to buy courgettes at such high prices and would rather leave their shelves empty.

Shoppers took to social media to vent their frustration.

Char, a fashion student, tweeted: ‘I’m not being funny but is there some sort of courgette shortage in huddersfield, went to morrisons, asda, lidl & TWO different sainsbury’s.’

Another shopper wrote: ‘Is there a courgette shortage? I think the courgetti obsession is raging out of control!!!’

Tesco confirmed some produce is in short supply. It said: ‘Due to bad weather conditions in Spain, we are experiencing a few availability issues, but are working with our suppliers to resolve them as quickly as possible.’

Other produce such as tomatoes, lettuce, peppers and aubergines (pictured) are also in short supply
Other produce such as tomatoes, lettuce, peppers and aubergines (pictured) are also in short supply

Sainsbury’s said: ‘There has been severe weather in southern Europe but we are working with our suppliers to maintain supply for our customers.’

Colin Putt, sales manager at the vegetable supplier Total Produce, warned that vegetable shortages could last for months.

He said: ‘I’ve never seen it so bad on so many products. It’s not just courgettes, it’s most of the produce we get from Spain at this time of the year.

‘They had a year’s-worth of rain in less than 24 hours, and they’ve cold weather as well. One of our growers in Spain has lost over 5m heads of lettuce. And because of the weather they can’t replant.’

Source: Rain in Spain ruins courgettes and lettuces and ups prices | Daily Mail Online

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