UK market faces tomato shortage after exports from Morocco and Spain drop

The shortage of Moroccan tomatoes in the UK has greatly affected market stalls in the country. On social networks, several British citizens have shared photos of empty shelves in supermarkets.

The UK vegetable market is apparently experiencing a shortage of tomatoes. Morocco and Spain, considered the main suppliers of tomatoes to the UK, are cited by British professionals as the cause of these shortages, which they attribute to a lack of domestic production in recent times or other conditions.

Specialising in agriculture, the website ‘Fruitnet’ reports that there are major problems with the supply of Moroccan tomatoes in the UK, according to importers who fear a domestic shortage, but also according to citizens, who have widely shared on social networks, photos of empty shelves in many supermarkets across the site, the site said.

No tomatoes at a Lidl store in Cardiff.

The availability of our tomato range has been significantly affected by adverse weather conditions in Spain and Morocco. The current shortage is expected to improve within a few weeks,” reads a photo shared on social media of a shelf in a UK supermarket.

A sign left in a branch of Morrisons UK

The reasons for the drop in tomato supplies from Morocco, according to the website, are weather-related.

“In the North African country, farmers and suppliers have had to deal with cold temperatures, heavy rain, flooding and cancelled ferries for three to four weeks, which have severely affected the volume of vegetable imports reaching the UK,” noting that “bad weather in Spain and Morocco, where most tomatoes come from, is affecting supplies.

Other sources have attributed the current shortage of tomatoes in the UK to high energy costs, saying that ‘tomato growers are finding it difficult to heat their greenhouses because of the cost’.

British Tomato Growers Association spokeswoman Julie Woolley told The Grocer: “Wholesale petrol prices are affecting all growers, and tomato availability is a global issue.

The National Farmers’ Union confirmed that these problems are currently affecting all UK fruit and vegetable growers, not just tomato growers.

It is worth noting that trade relations between Morocco and the UK have improved significantly following the Brexit. The volume of bilateral trade last year amounted to 22.9 billion dirhams.


Read Also: Brexit boosts Moroccan-UK trade by nearly 50%

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