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Britain is in the grip of ANOTHER food shortage as supermarkets forced to plan to prevent a crisis

Mirror logo Mirror 21/03/2017 Ruki Sayid
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Fruit fans are being warned of an English apple shortage after shoppers sent sales of homegrown varieties soaring.

And a poor harvest has added to the crisis which has depleted supplies with Cox the hardest hit.

According to industry body English Apples and Pears, overall crops are down 6% to 150,000 tonnes while demand is up by 4%.

Experts say the double whammy could see the English apple season finish a month early with Cox, Gala and Braeburn apples like gold-dust by April.

Steven Munday, chief executive of English Apples and Pears told trade magazine The Grocer : “Gala is the most popular variety by far of home grown British apples, largely as a result of colouration, taste and texture. 

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“But for traditional eating apples like Cox, volumes are down a little this year.

“However, the overall crop that was picked back in September, October and November is slightly down on the previous year.

"As a result we’ll probably have a slightly shorter British apple season than last year.”

It means Cox apples which would normally be on shelves into early April are likely to run out in the next two weeks while Gala, Jazz and Braeburn which are usually in good supply until May could disappear by next month.

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The shortage of homegrown apples may lead to price rises as supermarkets increasingly turn to imported versions of some to the nation’s best loved varieties.

Tesco said “careful planning” meant it would plug the gap with Cox apples from New Zealand to prevent panic buying seen recently when a vegetable shortage hit supermarkets.

A Tesco spokesperson said: “The Cox season is due to end in the next couple of weeks and we will import the apples from New Zealand.

“But when they run out there will be a shortfall with no Cox apples until the new season re-starts in September”.

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Last month Britain was in the grip of a salad and veg crisis after extreme weather decimated crops in Spain.

The shortage led to rationing in some stores with Morrisons limiting shoppers to just two iceberg lettuces per basket and Tesco imposing a three lettuce limit per person while the Co-op put up signs locally warning of veg shortages.

Courgettes, broccoli, cauliflower,tomatoes and peppers were also thin on the ground as telly gardening legend Alan Titchmarsh urged shoppers to buy seasonal British vegetables.


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