UK faces acute shortage of some fruits and vegetables, supermarkets limit quantity purchase | Food Business Africa Magazine

UK – Alarming shortage in some fruits and vegetables, notably tomatoes, has hit UK’s supermarket shelves, resulting in some of the leading chains imposing purchase limits, with the UK government warning that the situation could last up to a month.

 The British government attributed the shortages of these products on the shelves to the bad weather conditions in South Europe and North Africa, namely Morocco and Spain, some of the UK’s main fruit and vegetable exporters, the BBC reported.

According to Euronews, approximately 25% of the UK’s tomatoes come from Morocco, whereas 20% come from Spain.

The Moroccan Association of Fruit and Vegetables (APEFEL) has addressed the UK’s tomato shortage, attributing it to Morocco’s “unusual climatic conditions,” Fresh Produce Journal reported.

“As a natural consequence, the daily harvest has dropped sharply, resulting in shortening the supply capacity of packing stations and provisions of the local Moroccan market, as well as markets abroad,” APEFEL indicated in a statement.

To ensure food security and stabilize prices at home after tomato prices increased at an alarming rate, reaching up to MAD 16 in some regions, the Moroccan government recently restricted its supplies to the British market and West Africa.

However, it is unclear if the ban will also extend to Europe, which is a significant importer of fresh produce from Morocco.

Morocco’s farming sector’s exports rose 20% to a record 80 billion dirhams (US$7.8bn) last year despite the worst drought in decades.

Mohamed Zemrani, the deputy head of the Moroccan association of African market suppliers, noted the ban would harm fresh produce traders.

“The export ban means bankruptcy for many suppliers with the loss of outstanding payments exposing many to lawsuits as well as a loss of job opportunities,” he told Reuters.

In a recent survey, 93% of Moroccan respondents said the soaring food prices in the country have become a top concern, identifying food prices and drought as the two “top crises” facing the country.

Published by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the survey report concludes that income and livelihood losses are “the biggest challenges.”

Israeli Netafim plans to launch a $2.8 million irrigation equipment factory in March

In a bid to alleviate the country from such a situation in the future, an Israeli company that specializes in precision irrigation solutions, Netafim, plans to commission a manufacturing plant for micro-irrigation materials and equipment based in Kenitra on March 2.

The project is to cost a total of 30 million dirhams (US$2.8 million). The new unit will primarily produce drippers for irrigation to initially supply the domestic market before gradually extending its offer to other countries in North Africa and the Middle East (MENA).

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Beryl Onyango

Beryl Onyango is a CPA and economics degree holder who has dedicated her career to helping others navigate the complex world of finance. Beryl has spent the past 3 years working as a finance specialist in a fintech company and has 6 years of experience in finance, working with a diverse range of clients and industries. Beryl's expertise lies in budgeting, saving, investing, and retirement planning, but she also has a deep understanding of various other areas of finance. She is interested in financial technology and how it changes how we manage our finances. As a finance writer, Beryl has been sharing her insights and knowledge through her writing, covering various finance and personal finance topics. Her goal is to educate and empower individuals to take control of their finances and achieve their financial goals. In addition to her professional experience, Beryl is a lifelong learner, always seeking to expand her knowledge and stay up-to-date with the latest developments in finance. She is also a strong communicator, able to explain complex financial concepts in a clear and easy-to-understand manner. Beryl believes that financial literacy is the key to achieving financial success, and she is dedicated to helping others achieve their financial goals.

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