Brits warned they may face shortage of Christmas veg after wet weather

Christmas dinner in crisis? Warning shortages of broccoli and cauliflower could leave Brits without festive veg after unprecedented wet weather

  • Relentless wet weather and storms have been blamed for flooding farms 

Britons have been warned they could be left without Christmas vegetables after reports of broccoli and cauliflower shortages. 

Relentless wet weather and storms in October have been blamed for flooding farms, delaying lifting and causing huge crop losses. 

Experts say Britons could be faced with empty shelves in time for the festive period after a tough harvest. 

‘There won’t be enough broccoli to supply the Christmas dinner demand,’ the manager of 18,000 acres,’ Lincolnshire farmer Martin Tate told LBC. 

‘Cauliflower is still a problem, and you can expect to see empty trays over the next few weeks.’

Britons have been warned they could be left without Christmas vegetables  (stock image)

Experts have reported shortages of broccoli and cauliflower (stock image)

CEO of T H Clements, one of the country’s largest suppliers of Brussels sprouts with 11,000 acres in Lincolnshire and 1,000 in Cornwall, Chris Gedney added: ‘Brussels sprouts are likely to be smaller this year as the larger ones tend to fall in the water and rot.’

Fred Searle, editor of Fresh Produce Journal, warned the shortage could even continue for months beyond Christmas.

He said the British potato harvest has been hit hard by heavy rain and flooding this autumn which has led to large losses of crops. 

Cornish farmer Philip Pryor produces around 15 tonnes of potatoes every year across nearly 1300 acres – but he also said recent wet conditions have made it challenging to get crops out of the ground. 

‘Obviously we are sifting the potatoes out of the soil and when it’s wet the soil just doesn’t separate the same,’ he told BBC Radio 4’s Farming Today podcast. 

‘The level of earth is still stuck to the potato. These potatoes will not store very well, we’ve got to get rid of these now, we have no choice.’ 

Experts said the British potato harvest has been hit hard by heavy rain and flooding this autumn which has led to large losses of crops – pictured is flooded fields in West Sussex on November 2

Floodwater from the River Derwent surrounding a building in Stamford Bridge on October 30

The potatoes should be harvested and stored by now, but soggy conditions have prevented that. 

The potato rainfall comes after one of the wettest ever July months, as well as an August and October full of rainfall this year. 

Read more: The spiralling cost of YOUR Christmas veg

The National Farming Union said the weather is increasingly causing issues with more investment needed in water management, according to the BBC. 

It comes after it was revealed that the cost of vegetables for Christmas dinner has soared by up to 60 per cent in one year with carrots, potatoes, parsnips and brussels sprouts all hit by soaring inflation.

Prices have risen by an average of seven per cent over the past year across 208 lines of parsnips, carrots, potatoes and brussels sprouts at Aldi, Lidl, Co-op and Waitrose.

Data from retail research firm Assosia revealed annual price rises of at least 10 per cent on more than a third of products, while 24 increased by more than 20 per cent.

The analysis of supermarket prices revealed in trade journal The Grocer also found the cost of some vegetables had risen by more than a tenth in just the past month.

Soaring production costs and poor weather affecting growing conditions were said to be partly behind the increases, as well as low supermarket returns for many crops.

A Waitrose spokeswoman told MailOnline: ‘While no supplier is immune to inflation, we’re working hard to keep prices low – without compromising on taste and quality, or support for British famers. 

‘We’ve also got options for every budget, for example, our Essential frozen British brussels sprouts cost just 70p.’

MailOnline previously contacted Tesco, Co-Op, Lidl, Aldi, Asda and Sainsbury’s for comment. 

Source: Read Full Article