Drought in England: what food items might be affected?

·1-min read
Drought in England: what food items might be affected?

The area of Wessex, covering Bristol, Dorset, south Gloucestershire, Somerset and parts of Wiltshire, declared a state of drought on August 30.

That makes it the 11th Environment Agency in England to do so and means that all of south-west England is now in drought.

This comes after some of the driest conditions Europe has faced in 90 years over the last few months. Heading into the winter, the dry weather and droughts have sparked fears of food shortages for some items during the colder months.

Here’s a look at what some of the knock-on effects of the droughts could be in the coming months.

What food items could be affected by the UK drought?

Staple crops usually grown in the UK, like potatoes, carrots and onions, are expected to be affected this year.

Not only is it likely there will be fewer of these vegetables, but each vegetable could also be smaller. This has prompted calls for supermarkets to accept smaller food items to allow undersized fruit and veg on to the shelves.

Farmers are also reportedly running out of water to irrigate thirsty crops such as lettuce. With rising fertiliser and fuel costs, the vegetables that make it from farm to supermarket could also come with a higher price tag.

The National Farmers’ Union has urged the Government to allow farmers to use river and stream water to replenish farming reservoirs. However, wildlife groups oppose this, arguing local ecosystems are being heavily affected by the nationwide drought.