Asda and Morrisons limit sales of some fruit and vegetableson February 21, 2023 at 4:09 pm

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Supermarkets face shortages of some fresh produce, but Tesco and others are not limiting sales.

Half empty vegetable display in Tesco, Trafford

Asda and Morrisons are putting limits on purchases of some fruit and vegetables as supermarkets face shortages of fresh produce.

Asda said it was capping sales of items such as tomatoes, peppers and lettuce at three each per customer.

Morrisons said limits of two on products like cucumbers would be introduced at stores from Tuesday.

However Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Lidl and Marks & Spencer currently do not have limits in place.

Pictures of empty supermarket shelves have been circulating on social media, after shoppers found it hard to get some items in recent days.

The shortages – which are affecting Ireland too – are largely the result of extreme weather in Spain and north Africa, where floods, snow and hail have affected harvests.

During this time of year, a significant proportion of what the UK consumes usually comes from those regions.

The shortages are only expected to last “a few weeks” until the UK growing season begins and retailers find alternative sources of supply, the British Retail Consortium said.

Andrew Opie, director of Food and Sustainability at the trade group, added that supermarkets are “adept at managing supply chain issues and are working with farmers to ensure that customers are able to access a wide range of fresh produce”.

As well as tomatoes, peppers and lettuce, Asda said it was also limiting sales of salad bags, cucumbers, broccoli, cauliflowers and raspberry punnets.

“Like other supermarkets, we are experiencing sourcing challenges on some products that are grown in southern Spain and north Africa,” a spokesperson said.

Morrisons said as well as not only cucumbers, but also tomatoes, lettuce and peppers were affected at its shops.

Marks & Spencer said it was not immune from supply issues but had mitigated them by sourcing from different markets.

Unusually cold weather in southern Spain has affected the supply of some fresh produce, while in Morocco floods have affected yields and storms have led to ferries being delayed or cancelled.

Meanwhile in the UK and Netherlands, farmers have cut back on their use of greenhouses to grow winter crops due to higher electricity prices.

Nigel Jenney, chief executive of the Fresh Produce Consortium, which represents around 700 businesses said costs from fuel, energy, packaging and distribution costs were also having an impact on producers.

‘It’s not Brexit’

Anecdotal evidence suggests the UK has been bearing the brunt of the shortages, but problems have also been reported in Ireland.

Tesco Ireland said its stock levels were temporarily affected, while the locally-owned chain SuperValu has also reported problems.

Industry sources suggested the UK may be suffering because of lower domestic production and more complex supply chains, as well as a price-sensitive market. But they said Brexit was unlikely to be a factor.

The main impact of new border procedures for fruit and vegetable imports will not be felt until January 2024 – while imports from Morocco, which is outside the EU, are already subject to border checks.

Ken Mortimer, managing director of Heritage Fine Food Company in Wiltshire, a wholesaler which supplies restaurants, cafes and schools in the south west of England, said many UK businesses have contracts to buy fixed quantities of imported produce.

But when they need more, they have to buy it on the open market and prices have been prohibitively high.

“It’s not Brexit”, says Mr Mortimer “Or at least, I don’t think so”.

Banner saying 'Get in touch'

Have you been affected by issues raised here? Are there shortages of salad and vegetables where you are? You can get in touch by emailing

Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also get in touch in the following ways:

If you are reading this page and can’t see the form you will need to visit the mobile version of the BBC website to submit your question or comment or you can email us at Please include your name, age and location with any submission.

- Advertisement -




China cuts children’s online gaming to one houron August 30, 2021 at 11:46 am

Regulators are restricting game-playing for under 18s to an hour on Fridays, weekends and holidaysimage sourceGetty ImagesOnline gamers under the age of 18 will...

Australian Open 2023: Britain’s Neal Skupski knocked out of both doubles eventson January 25, 2023 at 10:10 am

Britain's Neal Skupski loses in the Australian Open mixed doubles semi-finals as he and Wesley Koolhof are beaten by wildcards Rinky Hijikata and Jason...

Brianna Ghey: Boy and girl arrested over Warrington park killingon February 13, 2023 at 9:54 am

The two 15-year-olds are being held on suspicion of murdering the 16-year-old girl in Warrington.Image source, Family handoutA boy and girl, both aged 15,...

Khalid by James Patterson

Khalid by James PattersonOne of the most difficult books of mine to read was Khalid, by James Patterson. It has a beautifully written...

Man City v Liverpool: I should become more selfish – Jack Grealishon April 15, 2022 at 5:02 am

BBC Sport's Kelly Somers talks to Jack Grealish about his first season at Manchester City after this summer's £100m move.