Friday 17 November 2017

Lettuce, tomatoes and broccoli could be off the menu as supply problems beginning to bite

There has been a reduced supply of lettuce to Ireland
There has been a reduced supply of lettuce to Ireland

Gavin White

Consumers have been dealt a fresh blow as European shortages have led to a reduced supply of lettuce and other vegetables to Ireland.

Supermarkets across the country are experiencing unusual supply issues with severe weather in parts of Europe having made life difficult in supplying many household groceries.

A spokesperson for Tesco Ireland said that it was "currently experiencing supply issues" with some fresh produce including spinach, lettuce, broccoli and courgette.

"This interruption to supply is due to adverse weather in Spain which has affected harvest in the region and in turn impacted delivery to Ireland," the spokesperson said.

Tesco in the UK has been forced to limit the amount of lettuce purchases to three items per customer.

However, Tesco Ireland hasn't enforced the same measure and said this was a "European-wide issue".

Despite not being as badly affected as other supermarkets, Lidl Ireland has been hit with a tomato supply problem.

"There are a few lines we have less availability on than we would like (certain types of tomatoes) but on the whole we are in a strong position to offer customers the products they want at the best possible price.

"We are not imposing any restrictions," a spokesperson for Lidl said.

"We have been in constant contact with suppliers to work on getting as much product as possible. We are on average sitting at 97pc fulfilment."

A spokesperson for Aldi Ireland said it was also experiencing difficulties.

"Due to adverse weather conditions in mainland Europe, we are experiencing some short-term availability issues on a very small number of lines.

"We are working with our suppliers to resolve the issue as quickly as possible," the spokesperson said.

Stocked

However they said the supermarket was not being forced into limiting purchases for its customers.

A spokesperson for SuperValu said it was "relatively well stocked" and was not facing any restrictions at the moment.

"We are highlighting the potential supply issue in-store and will continue to monitor the situation closely."

Meanwhile, SuperValu has also withdrawn a free vegetable promotion after the Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) said farmers would "bear the brunt of this type" of price promotion.

Farmers were unhappy with a promotion that offered free onions and mushrooms to customers.

"This sort of stunt is a race to the bottom. Farmers have little or no market power and they will ultimately bear the brunt of this type of unethical price promotion," said Joe Healy, president of the IFA.

"The promotional offer in question was agreed and welcomed by our suppliers and was funded by SuperValu," said SuperValu in a statement.

"We are committed to working with our suppliers to build long-term, sustainable partnerships and will continue to engage constructively with the IFA."

Irish Independent

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