Many field crops such as lettuce and broccoli have been nearly wiped out by cold weather and heavy snowfall in Italy. That, combined with floods in Spain’s Murcia region, “is likely to significantly increase the price of vegetables across northern Europe.”
The price or availability of courgettes (zucchini ), tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and aubergines is also likely be affected.
Murcia, which is estimated to supply about 80% of Europe’s fresh produce during the winter months, has recently endured its heaviest rainfall in 30 years, while Italy, which normally exports vegetables at this time of the year, is now having to import them.
Even before the shortages, Britain imported 50% of its vegetables and 90% of its fruit, said Nationwide Produce food marketing company managing director Tim O’Malley.
This is unprecedented, said a spokesman for the fresh produce industry.
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