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Vegetable shortage crisis: Rationing hits supermarkets with lettuce and broccoli affected

Morrisons has even imposed a limit of three iceberg lettuces and three heads of broccoli per customer at each of its 492 UK stores

You may struggle to find courgettes in the supermarket(Image: Getty Images)

Supermarkets have begun rationing vegetables because suppliers in the Mediterranean have been battered by floods, snow and storms.

Morrisons has even imposed a limit of three iceberg lettuces and three heads of broccoli per customer, across each of its 492 UK stores.

Some Tesco shops are also carrying notices capping the number of lettuces to three per person, the Mirror Online reports.

The signs, pinned in front of the food, read: “Due to continued weather problems in Spain, there is a shortage on iceberg lettuce.

“To protect the availability for all our customers, we are limiting bulk purchases to three per person.”

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The big grocers’ online stores are restricting supply by listing some popular vegetables as unavailable.

Spinach is also being rationed(Image: Getty Images)

The shortage began with aubergines and courgettes but has now spread to other vegetables, salad and, potentially, citrus fruit.

Punters can also expect shortages of baby spinach, mixed leaves, rocket, cauliflower, broccoli, peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, lemons, and oranges.

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A Morrisons spokesman said: “‘As a result of the fact that the Spanish harvest has been very difficult this year, we have just about enough coming in to supply our customers.

“We want to stop local tradespeople, restaurateurs, coming in and buying lots of stock. It is important that there is good availability for our customers.”

Bad weather is being blamed for the vegetable shortage


Tesco said: “Due to bad weather conditions in Spain, we are experiencing a few availability issues, but are working with our suppliers to resolve them as quickly as possible.”

A Sainsbury's spokesman said: “Severe weather has affected crops, but we are working with our suppliers to maintain supply for our customers.”


The problem has become so serious that British wholesalers have taken the unusual step of importing produce from California, despite the high cost of transporting it by air.

Meanwhile, garden centre chain Wyevale Garden Centres has seized on the crisis by buying in more “grow your own” vegetable seeds and plants so families can become more self-sufficient.

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