One would think that with all the rain we’ve been having, fruit and veggies will be in ample supply…

We’ve seen a number of people online saying their unable to find tomatoes and some even saying there’s a shortage of cauliflower, but what could be the reason? It is, in fact, all that rain we’ve been having!

According to local suppliers, many vegetables like tomatoes thrive in dry weather which means the overly rainy season has created a temporary shortage in the salad staple.

All4Women spoke with retail supply chain Checkers about the shortage and what they believe is the cause.

“Excessive rain at the end of January to mid February has damaged crops in Limpopo causing a nationwide shortage of tomatoes especially class 1 tomatoes. It also impacts on price,” says the Checkers media team.

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They have confirmed that Shoprite and Checkers stores have been affected as at least 60% of the country’s supply comes from the Limpopo province during this time of the year.

Woolworths food chain has also been experiencing the recent shortage.

“In the north, the tomatoes have not had sufficient sun to ripen.  Whilst in the south, the severe wind caused fruit damage,” says Woolworths.

They cited growing conditions as not being ideal for tomatoes in any region this season.

But things are set to get better in the weeks to come

“Supply should normalise when the far northern Limpopo and Mpumalanga production commences early in May.”

Last week tomato volumes decreased by 13.1% according to Absa’s Fresh Produce Market Trends while month-on-month volumes decreased by 19.9% this week compared to the same time last month. This past week saw 25.6% increase in the tomato price due to the shortage with over a 50% increase when compared to last month.

Checkers says they are working with suppliers to secure stock where possible.

“Supply is being supplemented from other areas in the country, however, it is not sufficient to meet the current shortfall.”

Carrot quality on farms has also been low recently due o he rains resulting in shortage of carrots and a few other leafy green veggies.

Tomato lovers on Twitter are beside themselves

 

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