Asda, Morrisons, Aldi, Tesco and Lidl limit sales of fruit and vegetables - what are they saying?

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Extreme weather in Spain and north Africa has affected fruit and vegetable stock levels at UK supermarkets like Asda and Morrisons.

Asda and Morrisons are just some of the major UK supermarkets putting a limit on the amount of fruit and vegetables  customers can purchase in stores. The decision comes at a time when supermarkets are facing a shortage of the amount of fresh produce imported to the UK.

Spain and north Africa are currently experiencing extreme weather such as hail, snow and floods. These conditions are affecting their harvests and as a result has had an impact on stock levels in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The limit at Asda will see a restriction meaning  customers can only purchase certain products in a maximum quantity of three each. Below is the full list of Asda products currently rationed as a result of the shortage:

  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Cucumbers
  • Lettuce
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflowers
  • Salad Bags
  • Raspberry Punnets

Morrisons has confirmed that it will introduce a purchase limit on four fruit and vegetable products from Wednesday (February 22). Customers will only be able to purchase a maximum of two each of tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce and peppers.

An Asda spokesperson said: “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.”

A Morrisons spokesperson explained: “We are beginning to move into the UK growing season, so as well as finding alternatives to produce from Spain and Northern Africa, we will see more British produce on the shelves shortly.”

The limit introduced at Aldi stores means that customers will only be able to purchase three of each of the three affected food items. Below is a breakdown of what Aldi fruit and vegetable products will be rationed:

  • Peppers
  • Cucumbers 
  • Tomatoes

An Aldi spokesperson explained: “We are limiting purchases of peppers, cucumbers and tomatoes to three units per person to ensure that as many customers as possible can buy what they need.”

It is has been confirmed that Tesco is also putting a limit of three per customer on sales of tomatoes, peppers and customers. The strategy is considered to be a “precautionary measure” to counteract the ongoing supply challenges.

Andrew Opie, the director of food and sustainability at the British Retail Consortium (BRC) said: “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.”

Empty tomato shelves at Morrisons in Birmingham.20/02/2023   See SWNS story SWBNtomatoes - Suppliers are blaming poor weather conditions in Spain for empty shevles which seem to be prevalent across the country.Empty tomato shelves at Morrisons in Birmingham.20/02/2023   See SWNS story SWBNtomatoes - Suppliers are blaming poor weather conditions in Spain for empty shevles which seem to be prevalent across the country.
Empty tomato shelves at Morrisons in Birmingham.20/02/2023 See SWNS story SWBNtomatoes - Suppliers are blaming poor weather conditions in Spain for empty shevles which seem to be prevalent across the country. | SWNS

Mr Opie explained that some stores will be introducing temporary limits on a number of products customers can buy to ensure its availability for everyone. He also added that UK produce is starting to come into season which will alleviate our dependency on importing fruit and vegetables from other countries.

Lidl confirmed on Monday (February 27) that it was limiting the sale of tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers to three items per customer. The German budget retailer warned shoppers that certain fruits and vegetables ‘may not be available’ in stores as a result of supply issues.

So what are other UK supermarkets saying about the ongoing fruit and vegetable shortage in the country, and will they be implementing limits on customers purchasing the products as its stores? Here is everything you need to know.

Waitrose

A John Lewis and Waitrose spokesperson explained that it is currently “monitoring the situation” but have no plans in place to ration the sales of fruit and vegetable products at its stores.

Sainsbury’s

A Sainsbury’s spokesperson has said that it has no plans to introduce rationing of fruit and vegetables at their supermarkets.

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