The Bishop of Exeter received the following written answer on 10th March 2023:
The Lord Bishop of Exeter asked His Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the causes of fruit and vegetable shortages in UK shops.
Lord Benyon (Con): The UK has a highly resilient food supply chain, as demonstrated throughout the Covid-19 response and is well equipped to deal with situations with the potential to cause disruption.
Defra is closely monitoring markets and supply chains to explore the factors that have contributed to ongoing supply chain pressures, including requesting weekly data from supermarkets on supplies of the foods affected to ensure we have the latest available data. We know that some supermarkets have applied item limits to a small number of fruit and vegetables due to poor weather affecting the harvest in Spain and North Africa, where a high proportion of produce consumed in UK at this time of year is grown.
Minister Spencer met with major retailers on 27 February to discuss the current supply issues, their procurement contracts with growers and how to work together to find solutions. Supermarkets are confident their supply chains will return to normal over the course of this month.
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