Spanish crop flop is nightmare for Brits
It has decimated the Spanish crops of lettuce, spinach, courgettes and other vegetables.
Courgette sales in the UK were down by 2.3m euros in January, a fall of nearly 40% on last year, and bagged spinach sales dropped 47%, at a cost of 6.5m euros.
It puts the impact of the desperate shortage at 8.8m euros, without even considering the scarcity of lettuce.
The UK generally imports about 65% of its fresh fruit and vegetables from the rest of the EU, with Spain the biggest individual source.
But some British supermarkets have begun to ration lettuces, and many shelves stand empty. Such is the shortage that a black market has sprung up, trading veg and salad items for up to four times its normal value.
There have been reports of broccoli on sale in the UK for six euros a kilo, and iceberg lettuce going for five euros each.
And Cristobal Aguado, President of the Valencian Association of Agriculture, says vegetables such as artichokes and beans could be in danger.
Worryingly, Fepex, Spain’s largest growers’ association, says the shortage will last at least until April.
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