Let them eat turnips – the situation is more “serious”: why don’t the British have vegetables

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Cucumbers and lettuce are now hard to find in the UK, so supermarkets have to ration some varieties. Agriculture minister Therese Coffey believes the British should rather appreciate the local specialties and said: “A lot of people are eating turnips right now.” Now she’s got the salad – or rather the mockery.

“Let them eat turnips,” headlined the Daily Mirror newspaper on Friday, echoing the famous quote from Queen Marie-Antoinette of France: “If they have no bread, let them eat cake.” People search social media for the tastiest beet recipes. “The country needs you. What can you make with beets — especially as a substitute for tomatoes,” scientist Mike Galsworthy tweeted, half jokingly, to celebrity chef Nigella Lawson.

A shortfall can no longer be compensated
Secretary Coffey said the situation will be eased within two to four weeks. But the situation is more serious, the industry is convinced of that. “Tomatoes, peppers and aubergines will not be available in bulk until May, so it will take longer than a few weeks,” Lee Stiles of the Lea Valley Growers Association (LVGA) told the BBC.

It is too late for UK growers to make up for the shortfall – they should have planted earlier. On Friday, leek growers warned that domestic supplies could run out in April. Before David’s Day on March 1, when many Welsh people prepare leeks in honor of their national holiday, many consumers would probably have to resort to imported goods.

climate responsible
It is clear to the government who is to blame: the unusually cold weather in the growing areas of Spain and Morocco. “We have no control over the weather in Spain,” said Minister Coffey at the annual meeting of the farmers’ association NFU. The weather does indeed play a role, emphasizes food expert Ged Futter. But just one of many reasons. Liner referred to Germany: there are no bottlenecks there, as German retailers recently confirmed in an investigation by the German press agency.

Brexit should also be partly justified. Greg Hands, German-speaking secretary-general of the Conservative Party, recently stressed that eurozone food prices have risen even more and that the shortages have nothing to do with Brexit – experts disagree. For example, British producers miss out on the seasonal workers who would otherwise come to pick from EU countries such as Romania. The reason for this is stricter rules for employees after leaving the EU.

matter of price
“The reports from the island prove the great benefit of the EU’s internal market for the secure food supply in Germany,” said Joachim Rukwied, chairman of the Boerenbond, of the “Rheinische Post” (Saturday). “The bureaucratic and time-consuming customs formalities deter many traders, and the scarce goods remain on the continent.” Pekka Pesonen of EU farmers’ association Copa-Cogeca told the Financial Times: “If you pay enough there will always be sources, but I don’t know if UK retailers are willing to pay extremely high prices.”

Source: Krone

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