UK supermarkets are limiting how much fruit and veg customers can buy
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Supermarkets in the UK are limiting how much fruit and veg customers can buy amid shortages.
Unfavourable weather conditions have disrupted supply chains leading to empty shelves - but these issues are expected to be short term and people have been assured there is no need to panic.
Growers and suppliers in Morocco have had to contend with cold temperatures, heavy rain, flooding and cancelled ferries over the past three to four weeks – all of which have affected the volume of fruit reaching the UK.
Supplies from Britain's other major winter source, Spain, have also been badly affected by weather.
Production problems in Morocco began in January with unusually cold night-time temperatures that affected tomato ripening. These were compounded by ferry cancellations due to bad weather, affecting lorry deliveries.
Asda has now set a limit of three per customer on the following items: tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, lettuce, salad bags, broccoli, cauliflower, and raspberries.
An Asda spokesperson told LADbible: "Like other supermarkets, we are experiencing sourcing challenges on some products that are grown in southern Spain and north Africa.
"We have introduced a temporary limit of three of each product on a very small number of fruit and vegetable lines, so customers can pick up the products they are looking for."
Meanwhile, Morrisons will be introducing a cap of two items per customer across tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, peppers from tomorrow (Wednesday 22 February).
Tesco has also had supply issues with tomatoes and peppers, with shoppers sharing photos of empty shelves on social media. However, the supermarket has no limits in place, and shortages in specific stores do not reflect overall availability, with deliveries arriving at regular intervals across the country. Sainsbury's also doesn't have limits on fruit and veg purchases.
Andrew Opie, Director of Food & Sustainability at the British Retail Consortium, said: "Difficult weather conditions in the South of Europe and Northern Africa have disrupted harvest for some fruit and vegetables including tomatoes and peppers.
"While disruption is expected to last a few weeks, 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."