This question has often been asked in recent days: why in British supermarkets? And why not in other countries? For British food and gastronomy expert Henry Dimbleby, the explanation for this shortage of fruit and vegetables could lie in the “strange supermarket culture” of the United Kingdom.
According to him, the” fixed-price contracts ” between retailers and suppliers ensure that, when food is scarce, some growers sell less to the UK and more to other countries of Europe.
For Dimbleby, the problem is “very difficult” to solve. “It’s a strange competitive dynamic that originated in the UK and doesn’t occur anywhere else in the world. And I actually don’t know why this has grown so much,” he notes.
As an example of this “market failure”, Dimbleby explains that sleep prices in British supermarkets have remained stable regardless of supply. This means that growers can’t sell all their produce if they have too much stock or they don’t get enough incentives to grow more. “When all of Europe groans under drought, supermarkets raise prices, but that doesn’t happen in the UK. And therefore, suppliers will then export their product to France, Germany or Ukraine,” the businessman explains to the Guardian.
The scarcity is evident in tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers, largely due to extreme weather conditions that delay the harvest in Spain and North Africa.
In addition, the shortage is exacerbated by high energy prices affecting UK growers and supply chain problems. Added to this is the frost expected in some parts of the UK, which could further reduce the availability of British crops.