Brexit is not to blame for supermarkets facing empty shelves

Cost of living: Tesco shoppers scramble for reduced food

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Supermarkets including Tesco, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s have prompted public outrage as shoppers shared bare shelves. Morrisons admitted a general lack of fresh vegetables has been reported elsewhere due to a combination of factors creating a “perfect storm”.

SNP councillor for Rutherglen Central & North Andrea Cowan snapped a picture and shared it to Twitter revealing an absence of vegetables in her local area.

She wrote to her 571 followers: “I’m sorry, @tesco this is not good enough in your Dalmarnock store on a Friday afternoon. Lots more shelves with empty boxes throughout the store.

“Rising prices are bad enough but lack of basic foodstuffs is unacceptable.”

Meanwhile, a reporter also fumed about the bare shelves in his area and uploaded a snap from a Weymouth Sainsbury’s showing a fruit and vegetable aisle completely empty. 

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Morrisons has claimed that stock at a Cheltenham store had been affected by “adverse weather conditions” across Spain and Morocco, where it gets some of its supplies from.

In recent years, supermarkets across Britain have been affected by various fruit and veg shortages.

Three main issues hindering fully stocked shelves are rising energy costs, bad weather overseas and supply chain problems, according to reports.

Lee Stiles, Lea Valley Growers Association (LVGA) secretary, laid bare the empty shelves as a result of a “perfect storm” which began in December as soaring energy costs prompted British suppliers to demand more money to cover their rising costs, which has led supermarkets to seek cheaper produce.

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He told ITV News: “Growers would normally plant in December and be picking around now.

“[But] because they weren’t able to achieve the economic price for doing so with the supermarkets, they’ve delayed their planting until mid to late February, which means they [crops] will not be ready until March.

“The supermarkets decided not to pay the cost of production price for British growers and instead decided to import more cucumbers, tomatoes, and peppers from overseas.”

Additionally, he added there had also “been issues with the border at Calais”.

Mr Stiles said: “It’s all a bit of a perfect storm where, instead of encouraging or paying British growers the correct price, they’ve [the supermarkets] decided to go overseas and there’s been a disruption to the supply chain which means that there are empty shelves in supermarkets.”

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