According to George Eustice, there will be a four-week shortage of fruits and vegetables

Female in front of bare vegetable shelves

According to a former environment secretary, there will be a shortage of some fruits and vegetables for three to four weeks.

Additionally, George Eustice insisted that there was "nothing much" the government could have done to stop supermarket shelves from being empty.

The government and business have attributed the squeeze to unfavorable weather in Spain and North Africa.

Thomasina Miers, a chef and restaurateur, cautioned that the food system was "completely broken.".

Due to shortages, major UK supermarkets have been restricting the sale of fruits and vegetables, and customers have reported finding empty shelves in some stores.

Tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, salad bags, broccoli, and cauliflower are in short supply.

Producers have issued a warning that shortages may persist through May, with the situation getting worse as UK farmers postpone crop planting due to high energy costs.

However, Mr. Eustice stated during an appearance on the BBC's Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg program that he anticipated the issues to last "three to four weeks.".

He attributed the issues to a "cocktail of weather events" and added that food prices were inextricably linked to energy prices, which increased as a result of the conflict in Ukraine.

Additionally, he claimed that there was "not much the government could have done differently in recent months" and "nothing they can do right away" to stop the issues affecting supply chains.

For the supply of some vegetables to resume after the disruption, Mr. Eustice said supermarkets must "work to get it right.".

He did admit that "longer term" action was required.

"We should be committing to onshore production, so we should be trying to build that here," he said, referring to the glasshouse production of cucumbers and tomatoes.

However, Ms. Miers, who is in charge of the Wahaca restaurant chain, demanded that the government's policy on food be revised. .

We are sitting on a time bomb, she declared, calling the UK's food system "completely broken.".

"If we think cucumbers and tomatoes are bad, we are looking at way worse in the next decade," she said in a foreboding tone. ".

Ms. Miers urged increased investment in regenerative agriculture as well as the use of technology to assist farmers in switching to more environmentally friendly food production techniques.

Mr. Eustice, however, defended the government's track record, saying: "We now have nearly half of farmers in what we call Countryside Stewardship doing exactly the sort of regenerative agriculture that Thomasina talks about.

. "

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