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Fruit and veg under threat from dry weather

Supplies of domestic fruit and veg could be threatened by a lack of rainfall after the UK experienced one of the driest winters in 20 years.

The National Farmers Union (NFU) said it was growing increasingly concerned about the fruit and vegetable sector with some areas of the south and east of the country reporting as low as 10% of their expected March and April rainfall.

Other crops, such as spring barley, have already lost their full potential, although good rains in May and June would put many crops back on track, the NFU noted.

The UK as a whole saw just 47% of the average April rainfall, according to the Met Office, meaning more than four-fifths of the country’s rivers have fallen to abnormally low levels.

The NFU, however, said that reservoirs are still full and abstracted water sources are still available, albeit at lower that normal levels.

It also played down the risk of the dry weather resulting in higher food prices for consumers. “It’s the global dynamics of supply and demand that shape commodity prices, rather than the spell of dry weather we’ve been experiencing recently,” said NFU economist Anand Dossa. “Wider-scale EU weather events could impact on global supply and demand balance, but not in isolation of commodity trends in other markets.”