lettuce shortage

Shortages of salad and other vegetables in UK supermarkets could last up to a month, the environment secretary has said, as the government was accused of bringing the problem on itself by failing to support local growers and through Brexit policies (The Guardian).

People should “cherish” seasonal foods like turnips amid shortages of tomatoes and other fresh produce, the environment secretary has said. Thérèse Coffey was told by a Tory MP that supermarkets are importing too many products and that people should be eating more homegrown food (The Times £).

The UK environment secretary, Thérèse Coffey, has caused a furore after she suggested people should “cherish” seasonal foods such as turnips as bad weather cleared supermarket shelves of tomatoes and other fresh produce (The Guardian).

Imports of salad vegetables to the UK have dropped by at least half, according to the main group representing English growers, highlighting the scale of the shortages facing households (The Financial Times £).

A shortage of some fruit and vegetables could last until May, according to producers in one of the UK’s biggest growing regions (BBC News).

Rationing is back because we failed to learn the lessons of Covid, argues a business editorial in The Telegraph. “The fruit and veg shortage has once again exposed Britain’s over-reliance on its neighbours.”

The Telegraph asks why UK supermarkets are rationing fruit and vegetables.

Ice creams are being reformulated to stop them melting in higher temperatures. Unilever, the owner of Magnum and Ben & Jerry’s, has been trying to develop cold treats that stay solid for longer in warmer conditions as part of a push to save energy (The Times £).

The price of pasta has nearly doubled in two years, new research for the BBC suggests. A standard 500g bag of pasta was 50p two years ago - now it’s 95p.

UK consumer confidence rebounded in February to its highest level in almost a year, in a sign of households’ resilience despite the cost of living crisis, according to data published today (The Financial Times £).

The UK has enjoyed a surprise rebound in consumer confidence this month after the economy avoided an early recession and inflation continued to fall, a closely watched survey shows (The Times £).

Retail sales stalled this month before an expected drop in March as consumer demand weakened amid the continued squeeze on incomes, a new survey has found. Sales volumes were broadly unchanged after a contraction last month, according to the latest distributive trades survey by the CBI (The Times £).

Sir Keir Starmer has pledged to make the UK the fastest-growing economy in the G7 if his opposition Labour party wins the next general election (The Financial Times £).

Beyond Meat announced better than expected forecasts for the current year, including double-digit gross margins, indicating that the group was making progress in its efforts to halt haemorrhaging cash (The Financial Times £).

The Lex column in The Financial Times (£) turns its focus to Domino’s Pizza after some weak fourth quarter sales and a disappointing outlook for this year.

Alibaba achieved sales growth of 2% in the final quarter of last year, despite zero-Covid lockdowns paralysing much of China during the period (The Financial Times £).