Heatwave affects food supplies

By Country News

If you cannot find your favourite fruit and vegetables in your supermarket, you can blame the weather.

Woolworths and Coles say they are experiencing a supply shortage due to the hot weather, particularly in January.

‘‘Due to the extreme heat experienced (in January) in Victoria’s growing region, we are seeing an impact on supply and availability on some fresh produce, including beans and tomatoes,’’ Woolworths fruit merchandise manager Warwick Hope said.

‘‘We expect the supply to improve in coming weeks and we will continue to work with our local growers and suppliers to monitor the situation closely.’’

A Coles spokesperson said the company was ‘‘experiencing supply challenges with a number of vegetable lines, but through great relationships with our suppliers we are in a good position relative to the rest of the market and have been able to continue to offer our customers great value and competitive prices’’.

While fruit and vegetable supplies are tight, AUSVEG communications manager Shaun Lindhe said supply was only likely to be impacted in the short-term.

‘‘Our industry is susceptible to extreme weather events from time to time but they are historically short-term,’’ Mr Lindhe said.

‘‘Luckily, we can grow in all regions of Australia and we should see supply to normal levels in a relativity short time.’’

While northern Victoria and the southern Riverina have faced prolonged dry conditions, Mr Lindhe said it was heat and hail damage that had more of an impact on production.