Courgette deficit: UK gripped by vegetable shortage after cold weather in Spain and Italy

It is possible aubergines and tomatoes will also be affected

Olivia Blair
Wednesday 18 January 2017 13:45

A courgette shortage has hit the UK after months of cold weather in southern Europe has halted production of the vegetable.

Cold weather in Spain and Italy, where the majority of courgettes sold in the UK are grown, has meant the countries have been unable to produce the usual amount of the vegetable. The weather has also affected the production of lettuces, salad peppers, broccoli and cabbage.

A spokesperson for Sainsbury’s told The Independent: “There has been severe weather in Southern Europe but we are working with our suppliers to maintain supply for our customers.”

Tesco have described the shortage as “short term” saying: “Due to bad weather conditions in Spain, we are experiencing availability issues but are working with our suppliers to resolve them as quickly as possible.”

The Dutch vegetable supplier Valstar Holland said the price of courgettes have quadrupled since the summer with a 5kg box now costing £20 as opposed to £4 - £6.

“The cold affects courgettes a lot,” the UK sales manager Jordi Voderman told the Press Association. “There is less production but demand is at the same level so it has driven pries up enormously.” He suggested some supermarkets were not prepared to buy courgettes at the higher price.

He also said the shortage could affect aubergines and tomatoes, saying: “The cost of everything imported from Spain and Italy is sky high at the moment.”

At a time when those undertaking new years’ resolutions may well want to switch spaghetti for the courgette, you may just have to stick with the trusty carb for now.

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