Asda, Morrisons and Aldi imposing purchase limits on some fruits and vegetables due to supply challenges

Asda, Morrisons and Aldi are imposing limits on some of the fruit and vegetables customers can buy due to supply shortages.

Asda is temporarily limiting the purchase of tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, lettuce, salad bags, broccoli, cauliflower and raspberries to three of each item per customer.

"Like other supermarkets, we are experiencing sourcing challenges on some products that are grown in southern Spain and North Africa," an Asda spokesman said.

"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."

Morrisons said it would introduce a limit of two items per customer across tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce and peppers from Wednesday.

"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," an Aldi spokesperson said.

The move follows a warning from the National Farmers' Union that a range of British vegetables risk being rationed as farmers struggle with high energy costs.

Production of some fruits and vegetables grown in British heated and covered buildings - such as cucumbers and tomatoes - was already falling, the NFU president said.

"I think there are going to be challenges on availability of some food items," said Minette Batters, including other salad vegetables grown indoors.

Vegetables grown in fields - such as cauliflowers, potatoes and purple sprouted broccoli may also be impacted, she said.

Weather in southern Europe and northern Africa had disrupted crops including tomatoes and peppers, the retail businesses trade association said.

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The British Retail Consortium said Britain typically imports 95% of its tomatoes and 90% of lettuces from December to March.

Growers in Morocco have struggled with cold weather, heavy rain and floods. The problem continued down the supply chain as suppliers were hit by ferry cancellations, affecting lorry transport.

Spanish crops have also been affected by bad weather in the past three to four weeks.

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Other British supermarkets are understood to be considering limits similar to Asda.

A government energy support scheme was established for energy intensive industries but horticulture was not covered. Sectors such as steel fall under the remit of the scheme.