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UK supermarkets facing tomato shortage

UK supermarkets are facing a shortage of tomatoes after bad weather in Europe and Africa disrupted supplies.

Shoppers across the country have been sharing their frustration on social media after being unable to find tomatoes at their local stores.

Growers and suppliers in Morocco have had to contend with cold temperatures, heavy rain, flooding and cancelled ferries over the past three to four weeks – all of which have affected the volume of fruit reaching Britain.

Supplies from Britain’s other major winter source, Spain, have also been badly affected by weather.

Production problems in Morocco began in January with unusually cold night-time temperatures that affected tomato ripening.

These were compounded by ferry cancellations due to bad weather, affecting lorry deliveries.

The shortages are understood to be resulting in industry-wide gaps on shelves in the UK.

Andrew Opie, director of food and sustainability at the British Retail Consortium, with represents UK supermarkets, said: “Difficult weather conditions in the south of Europe and northern Africa have disrupted harvest for some fruit and vegetables including tomatoes.

“However, 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.”