UK food and veg shortage: Lidl to remove all restrictions on fresh produce from Monday

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Lidl said its fruit and veg availability has remained strong despite the high demand.

Lidl is set to remove all restrictions on selected fruits and vegetables that have been hit by shortages from Monday (March 13). This comes after Asda and Morrisons announced they would also lift restrictions on some fresh produce as supply issues, said to be caused by bad weather, are easing

A Lidl spokesperson said: “Our fruit and veg availability has remained strong, even amidst an uptick in demand. We’ve been closely reviewing the situation and can now confirm that all restrictions will be lifted by Monday.”

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It was reported on Friday, limits on cucumbers will be lifted at Morrisons, whilst restrictions on lettuce and broccoli will be removed at Asda. However, restrictions of three per person on tomatoes and peppers at Asda will remain in place whilst Morrisons still limits tomatoes, lettuce and peppers to two per person.

Asda is also fully lifting restrictions on cucumbers, lettuces, broccoli, cauliflower, raspberries and salad leaves. Supplies have been tight due to farmers reducing their use of greenhouses due to higher electricity prices. The National Farmers’ Union has since called for more help for British farmers.

According to the British Retail Consortium, the UK imports approximately 95% of its tomatoes and 90% of its lettuces, the majority of which come from Spain and North Africa. At this time of year, the UK also gets some produce from domestic growers and the Netherlands.

Supermarkets across the country have been imposing restrictions on their customers since last month after difficult weather conditions in the South of Europe and Northern Africa disrupted harvest for some fruit and vegetables, including tomatoes and peppers.

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According to Andrew Opie, Director of Food and Sustainability at the British Retail Consortium, the shortages are expected to last only a few weeks as supermarkets are adept at managing supply chain issues.

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