Could the Iceland volcano cause a fresh fruit shortage?

16 April 2010

Bitterwallet - fruit shortage after Iceland volcano? Here's a thing. Most of the fresh fruit and veg on sale in our supermarkets isn't in season in the UK right now; farmers elsewhere in the world are meeting our demands. Even then, our farmers don't grow most the stuff; ninety-five per cent of the fruit and half of the vegetables we buy Britain are imported.

Perishables are transported by air as well as road - it's a trend that's increased during the recession, with a need to fulfill and re-supply smaller orders. A lot of fresh fruit has been imported by air for several years; depending on the time of year, avocados, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, peaches, pears, plums, kiwi fruit and more besides. There are other perishables likes flowers; the UK is the second biggest importer of fresh roses and other flowers from Ethiopia, all imported by air.

So what will no air traffic into the UK for three days mean for supermarkets? It may mean fresh fruit and some vegetables disappearing from the shelves for a short spell, possibly for longer than three days. Hauliers in Europe may have been quick to switch tactics and transfer their cargo from air to road. But then there's the problem of reaching the UK by sea; demand increases for a limited supply of ferry and cargo crossings, and food spoils in the meantime.

Of course a fricking volcano in Iceland isn't going to stop rutting great tankers docking with supplies of cheap jeans and Tawainese lead-based toys, but you might notice some gaps on the shelves in the supermarket over the coming days. Good news if you're into gooseberries and rhubarb and six month-old apples, though.

TOPICS:   Supermarket   Travel


  • Nobby
    That'll teach the fucking vegans. There's plenty of animals left in the countryside to eat.
  • Andy D.
    Tins mate. Always better than fresh.
  • dacouch
    I think the Icelandic Government got confused...we actually asked them to send CASH
  • Nobby
    I reckon Kerry Katona is to blame. She nuked Iceland to get them back for sacking her after her yeyo games. Of course, all she has done is cause mass fresh food shortages which will get people running to Iceland. And with all that extra cash, the end result will be that Jason Donovan will have to shove even more drugs up the Nolan sisters.
  • Shopdis F.
    Nice, well done. Make the people panic buy!!!!
  • Matt
    Lol. You can see 'The Sun' headline tomorrow - RATIONING ON THE WAY, PEOPLE STARVING, IT'S LIKE THE BLITZ AGAIN etc. Like today, 'ASH HAZARD TO HEALTH'. Not one other news agency has this... why, because they've taken a W.H.O. warning that the 'ash MAY be hazardous IF it settles' (which it isn't currently doing) and made a big scary headline out of it. Lol. Along with their other choice headline 'Airline Firm calls lockdown 'over reaction'... here they are quoting someone random travel agent in Beijing! Lol.
  • Bullet
    supermarket fruit is shit this time of year, i would rather eat a fucking raw onion
  • Matt
    p.s. whilst you were reading that i've been down Tesco and brought all the fresh veg :-p
  • Gunn
    @Matt, What you going to eBay fresh veg?
  • milky
    don't worry, it's veggie growing season & with so many greenhouses & polytunnels extending / prolonging fruit & veg seasons hopefully british farmers will pull up some of the slack, if so many wasteful tossers got a grip & ate more "in season" fruit & veg from within the uk then we'd have a damn sight better quality veg, better air & countryside to utilise. then again most people live in small shove-em up hutch houses, on clone estates as they don't demand good housing stock & don't venture further than tesco's .so panic comes in form of ignorance in the main & the statement "I don't have the time" ..try losing your telly & growing / not wasting so much in the first place (eg gas injected salad bags).
  • Spankypants
    Tomorrow's Daily Mail headline is, "Iceland Ash Lowers House Prices: Gypsy Conspiracy"
  • Rick B.
    It just goes to show in the food we eat, take apples for example. I can only eat them at very specific points in the year simply because they do not taste right the rest of the time. Never knew they were stored for 6 months at a time though, its probably why they taste so bad half the time =(
  • Guy G.
    Hey I laughed when I first saw this post. I guess it's possible, I had just never thought of it when I heard the news about the plane cancellations. We've just been following sound tips on budgeting and right now the cheapest fruit is frozen. Can't wait to go apple picking this fall.
  • Farmer (.
    Lets all feck over farmers & build houses on previously high producing fields, we can always fly food in cheaply... ooh fuc... This could go on a while, the earth after all is very geothermal, volcanic activity part of the process, theres been alot of activity causing disruption, ..potentially more coming, lot's more volcanoes in both Iceland & elsewhere... start growing the basics at home again, invest in hot-house geo thermally assisted on a large scale for more "awkward" tropical / mediterranean foodstuffs) icelands hothouses are warm today!
  • wonky h.
    milky sounds a right cunt
  • (jah) w.
    Whilst milky does go overboard with the hyperbole and is far too judgemental of people (why not try helping them, instead of telling them what they can do and insulting them) s/he makes a very valid point. Just a pity it was put across in such a shit way.
  • wonky h.
    I've got a dog "in season" can I eat that?

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