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You have probably already heard it on the news. There is a shortage of fruit and vegetables in the UK and Scotland due to extreme weather conditions in southern Europe and North Africa, specifically Spain and Morocco. Apart from the fact that the price of fruit and vegetables has risen significantly since several months, they are now also rationed.

Asda has introduced a limit of three pieces per customer for tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, lettuce, bagged lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower and raspberries. Morrisons has introduced an even stricter limit of two pieces per customer on tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce and peppers.

Aldi and Tesco have joined Asda and Morrisons' rationing measures.

Extreme weather conditions in origin countries have caused a domino effect. Market disruption is expected to continue for a few weeks.

It is already the second time in three years that the UK faces shortages of fruit and vegetables. During the lockdowns, it was also the case but then it was not due to extreme weather conditions but to a large fall out of staff at the world's ports ( due to illness but mainly due to compulsory quarantines ) which left hundreds of container ships waiting in front of each port and all the fruit and vegetables rotting in the containers.

What exactly is it about with this extreme cold in Spain and Morocco ?

According to climate experts, CO2 emissions are warming up the planet and we are heading straight for a climate disaster, but that is certainly not the case in Spain, where the climate has been cooling for several years, with extremely cold temperatures being recorded in 2020

On 05.01.2021 2021 Vega de Liordes even registered a record freezing temperature of - 35.8 degrees was which was preceded the day before by a temperature of - 34.1° in the Eastern Pyrenees.

The following days up to 50 cm of snow fell in the capital Madrid, the northeast, the mountainous regions of the southeast and most of the interior of the country. It can get quite cold during winter in Spain, especially at high altitudes but surely they had not seen this in the past 20 years.

Successive cold fronts caused severe storms and/or flooding in several places in Spain in March, May, September, November and December 2022 ( among which in Malaga, Catalonia, Madrid and Valencia)

Early February 2023, another extreme cold front presented itself in Spain.

In Morocco, things are even worse. Locals fear the outbreak of an ice age.

Two days ago, that is on February 21 2023 an unprecedented amount of snow fell in south-eastern Morocco, cutting off as many as 87 towns and villages from the rest of the world. An amount of snow was measured of 7.2 feet or 219.5 cm !

It had been since 2018 that the country had experienced extreme cold.

Do these cold fronts in Spain and Morocco explain fruit and vegetable shortages in the UK ? Of course not. The fruit and vegetables consumed during winter come from deeper African countries such as Kenya, for example, and from South America. The fruit and vegetables that did not make it to the UK during the lockdowns and stood rotting in containers were located in the port of LA ( USA ) and in Santos and Vitoria ( BR ).

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