Environment secretary Therese Coffey

Environment secretary Therese Coffey was on Wednesday booed by farmers after saying UK egg shortages had not been caused by “market failure”, as the country’s biggest supermarket became the latest to ration purchases of some fruit and vegetables (The Financial Times £).

The supermarket giants Tesco and Aldi have followed rival chains Asda and Morrisons by imposing customer purchase limits on fresh produce after supplies were hit by disrupted harvests in southern Europe and north Africa (The Times £).

The UK’s biggest supermarket chain and the German-owned discounter announced on Wednesday that they were limiting purchases of peppers, cucumbers and tomatoes to three packs a person. Sainbury’s, Lidl and Waitrose said they still had no restrictions (The Guardian).

Asda imposed purchase limits on eight lines of vegetables and fruit on Tuesday, while Morrisons imposed them on four lines from yesterday (The Mail).

An explainer in The Guardian attempts to answer why the UK supermarkets are facing fresh food shortages.

The Guardian speaks to Britain’s biggest tomato farmer about the runaway costs of growing. Multiple glasshouses owned by tomato grower APS Group were left empty last year, for the first time in the business’s 80-year history.

Citigroup has forecast that UK inflation will plunge from double-digit rates to close to 2% by the end of this year as rapid falls in gas prices give Rishi Sunak’s government hope of solving some of its biggest economic challenges (The Financial Times £).

The forecast is lower than that of the Bank of England, which expects inflation to drop to 4% by the end of the year and to return to target in 2024 (The Times £).

Predictions that falling gas prices will accelerate the decline this year in the consumer prices index from last month’s level of 10.1% could also support a recovery in household living standards and persuade the Bank of England to cut interest rates earlier than expected (The Guardian).

Danone expects to continue raising prices this year after its steepest increases since the 1980s, mirroring industry competitors such as Nestlé and Unilever (The Financial Times £).

Sainsbury’s has been running a trial for a new scheme that allows its employees to work a four-day week. Staff at the grocer’s head offices in Holborn, Coventry and Milton Keynes, as well as its warehouses, and store managers in its 1,400 UK shops are all taking part in the experiment, which is due to last three months (The Times £).

Soy, oat, almond and other drinks that bill themselves as milk can keep using the term, according to draft federal rules released on Wednesday. Food and Drug Administration officials issued guidance that says plant-based beverages do not pretend to be from dairy animals – and that US consumers aren’t confused by the difference (The Guardian).

Philip Morris International admitted it would “rather keep” its business in Russia than sell on stringent Kremlin terms that would deny shareholders fair value, highlighting the challenges facing companies trying to leave the country without taking a huge financial hit  (The Financial Times £).

Jo Whitfield, the former Co-op supermarkets chief, is the frontrunner to become the next boss of Matalan after the homewares chain’s takeover by a group of its lenders, according to Sky News.

Starbucks has launched extra virgin olive oil-infused coffee in Italy, with expansion set for the US, UK, Japan and Middle East later this year (The Guardian).

The world’s largest coffee chain said its “Oleato” drinks will blend Italian olive oil with a range of brews. The new coffee drink will use olive oil from Partanna, a 100-year-old family business in Sicily (The Telegraph).

More than 50 retail groups fear that their businesses may not survive the next 12 months because they face a sharp rise in costs when help with energy bills tails off from April (The Times £).