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Lidl brings in rationing on fruit and vegetables

Written by: Rebecca Goodman
Lidl is the fifth supermarket to introduce food rationing on certain salad items following supply shortages.

It has begun limiting customers to three items each of peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers.

Poor weather conditions, high energy prices and Brexit have all been blamed on the shortages.

Morrisons and Asda were the first two supermarkets to introduce rationing on fruit and vegetables last week.

Later in the week, Tesco and Aldi also began limiting the number of fruit and vegetables that customers were able to buy.

Lettuce, broccoli and raspberries are also among the items being rationed. The supermarkets have all said that limits have been introduced to make sure products don’t sell out.

Waitrose and Sainsbury’s are yet to bring in rationing.

‘UK food resilience gone’

The main reason given for the rationing is poor weather conditions in Spain and Morocco where the UK usually imports around 95% of its tomatoes and 90% of its lettuces from in the winter, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

Soaring energy costs have also been blamed for many farmers scaling back their crop production in the last year.

The Environment Secretary, Therese Coffey, said shoppers could see rationing for the next month. But growers have argued that shortages could last until May. They have also blamed low costs paid by supermarkets for the current problem.

Vice President of the National Farmer’s Union, David Exwood, said: “We are repeatedly seeing a predictable combination of factors such as energy costs and weather leading to empty supermarket shelves. Our UK food resilience is currently gone. The government needs to take this seriously.

“Producers must have the confidence they need, working within a fair and transparent supply chain, ensuring fair and sustainable returns so they can do what they do best; produce nutritious, high quality British food to meet demand from shoppers.”

‘We still have good availability across the majority of our stores’

A Lidl spokesperson said: “As advised to our customers through signage in our stores last week, adverse weather conditions in Spain and Morocco have recently impacted the availability of certain salad items across the supermarket sector.

“Whilst we still have good availability across the majority of our stores, due to a recent increase in demand we have taken the decision to temporarily limit the purchase of peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers to three items per person. This will help to ensure that all of our customers have access to the products they need.”

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