Empty UK supermarket shelves have business and policy makers worried
Fresh vegetables were rationed across the UK this month due to climate chaos in Southern Europe. Lettuces, zucchinis and broccoli were rationed and prices rose to four times their normal level. The shortage was exacerbated by uncertain trading arrangements due to Brexit. UK supermarkets have embarked on a program of culling fruit and vegetables that are increasingly difficult to grow in areas with ongoing water shortages. The events have revealed the multiple challenges to global trade from water shortages, climate chaos and protectionism reinforcing the need to support local produce. Australia is extremely vulnerable to such events. The nation has been a net importer of fresh fruit and vegetables since 2003, a fact masked by our large grain and meat exports.
Will we still be able to feed ourselves as the climate get hotter? Australia is a net importer of fresh food – The supermarket food gamble may be finished
In the past 40 years, a whole supermarket system has been built on the seductive illusion of Permanent Global Summer Time. A cornucopia of perpetual harvest is one of the key selling points that big stores have over rival retailers. But when you take into account climate change, the shortages in the UK look more like a taste of things to come than just a blip.
The rapid rise of the farmers’ markets, home-delivery vegetable boxes and the resurgence of farm shops.