09 December 2022
Mild autumn predicted to impact on 2023.
MILD autumn weather has led to a glut of UK potato crops, leading to large amounts of waste and prompting fears of shortages shortages early next year.
Food charities in the UK are currently overwhelmed with produce, according to a report in The Guardian, while experts predict shortages beginning after Christmas.
Mark Tufnell, President of the Country Land and Business Association told The Guardian: “Severe drought through the summer has played havoc with crop yields, and now consumer demand for winter vegetables is being damaged by unseasonably warm November weather. Whilst supermarkets are adapting by offering vegetables – such as potatoes and brassicas – of a smaller size, many are refusing to pay farmers a price that would cover the cost of production. This is leaving farmers with no choice but to limit the quantity of food they are producing.”
Guy Singh-Watson, Founder of the organic vegetable box company Riverford, also told the Guardian he had hundreds of tonnes of surplus vegetables as a result of the “astonishing” weather. He is working with FareShare, a charity that distributes surplus food to those in poverty, to get the extra potatoes to those who need them.
He thinks there may be shortages of in January and February. “There will be a problem. We won’t be able to grow them again. Most of these crops will be grown in around about July. That crop is gone. When they come early, that will probably mean we will be short at some point after Christmas.”