Waitrose welcomes in crooked carrots and asymmetrical asparagus for summer

Catastrophic flooding across UK could lead to significant vegetable shortages

Produce Business report

Recent flooding across the UK from Storm Henk along with continual downpours have put in peril a multitude of crops, including carrots and cauliflower, as they were moving toward harvest.

The soaking storms, hitting hardest from Nottinghamshire and the Midlands down to the southern coast and stretching to the west, are sending warning signs of vegetable shortages in the coming months. According to the BBC, officials from the Labour Party have asked that a “task force” be created to deal with the situation. Some have also levied criticism at Prime Minister Rushi Sunak for not being more proactive in helping enact strategies that would prevent flooding crises.

In addition to the hits that farms are experiencing, tens of thousands of families across the nation have either been displaced or are dealing with surging waters engulfing their properties.

“I know how devastating flooding is for people, and also I urge people to be vigilant and should check their flood risk, sign up for free flood warnings and keep up to date with the latest situation,” said Defra Floods Minister Robbie Moore in a statement. “Environment Secretary Steve Barclay and I have both been in frequent contact with the Environment Agency and have been receiving daily updates on the situation. With barriers, pumps and permanent defences across the country, it has been possible to protect many thousands of homes and businesses.”

Though Moore pointed out that the government has or will be investing “a record £5.2 billion being invested between 2021-27 to create thousands of new flood schemes to better protect hundreds of thousands of properties across England,” a report from the BBC did highlight those projects that weren’t adopted.

It said that while 1,500 programmes were advanced, a quarter of yearslong projects targeted to help alleviate flooding had been tabled because of the economy and costs.

The fallout could be devastating for farmers in the short term, and officials and political leaders are calling for support to them. Though floods are expected to subside over the next few days, riverbeds remain dangerously high. Among the other expected crops to see sizable shortfalls are leeks and parsnips.

The NFU has launched a toolbox of resources for those dealing with adverse weather and flooding on its website.



The Latest from PBUK

Subscribe to PBUK!

Get regular produce industry insights, sign up for our email newsletter below.