Europe News

Vegetable rationing imposed on UK supermarkets

Thomas Barwick | Stone | Getty Images

Some U.K. supermarkets are rationing the amount vegetables that customers can buy and say a poor harvest in southern Europe is behind the shortage.

Lettuce, broccoli, butternut squash, eggplants and zucchinis are all affected by the shortage.

The U.K.'s largest grocer Tesco told CNBC Friday it is limiting shoppers to three iceberg lettuces per day because of supply problems.

"Due to bad weather conditions in Spain, we are experiencing some availability issues, but are working with our suppliers to resolve them as quickly as possible," the statement read.

During winter, Spain's south-eastern Murcia region supplies nearly all of Europe's produce but heavy rainfall has decimated growing fields.

The BBC reported that a concurrent cold snap in Italy is exacerbating the problem.

The rain in Spain

There's a fruit and vegetable shortage!

A spokesperson for Wal-Mart owned Asda said in an email Friday that a well-known saying about Spanish weather was in fact a myth.

"Contrary to popular belief it seems the rain in Spain doesn't fall mainly on the plain and a run of unusually bad weather has resulted in availability issues on a small number of salad items and vegetables such as courgettes (zucchinis) and aubergines (eggplants).

"We're doing everything we can to support our growers and get back up to full supply as quickly as possible, but we apologize if we're running a bit low on some products in the short term," said the spokesperson.

Social media reaction

Vegetable and salad lovers in Britain took to twitter to express disbelief at the sudden short supply.


Many feared the situation could quickly escalate and was currently just "the tip of the iceberg".


Others felt the "crisis" merited a full on response from authorities. One wag calling for a Donald Trump inspired wall policy.