Retail news: Supermarkets ration cooking oil as food security concerns mount in UK | United Kingdom | news


Russia’s invasion of its western neighbor has severely impacted fuel supplies, leading to skyrocketing prices. Now war threatens to disrupt food supplies and bring even more misery to British shoppers. The UK is heavily dependent on Ukraine for its sunflower oil supplies, but supplies are running low due to Vladimir Putin’s invasion.

As sunflower oil is running out, buyers have opted to buy olive and rapeseed oil as a substitute.

This has created unprecedented demand, forcing some of the UK’s major grocery retailers to restrict purchases – both online and in-store.

Tesco allows three items per customer, while Waitrose and Morrisons have set limits of just two items each.

Meanwhile, Iceland’s shops are limiting the sale of two-litre and five-litre bottles of sunflower oil to one per customer, photos on social media show.

Tom Holder of the British Retail Consortium said the restrictions were a temporary measure “to ensure availability for everyone”.

He said: “Retailers are working with suppliers to increase production of alternative cooking oils to minimize consumer impact.”

Cooking prices have risen sharply in the last month, putting more holes in the pockets of UK shoppers.

The Bureau of National Statistics said on April 13 that the price of edible oils and fats rose 7 percent and is nearly a quarter more expensive than a year ago.

Further analyzes by the research company Assosia point to a higher rate of inflation for the much sorted after-products.

According to them, a 1-litre bottle of own-brand sunflower oil has risen by an average of 12p to £1.26 since January 2022 – an increase of more than 10 per cent.

Tesco said in a statement: “We have good availability of cooking oils in stores and online.

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“If a customer cannot find their preferred oil, we have many alternatives to choose from.

“To ensure all our customers continue to get what they need, we have introduced a temporary purchase limit of three items per customer on products from our cooking oil range.”

A spokesman for Sainsbury’s said: “We are working closely with our suppliers to ensure customers continue to have a choice of cooking oils including olive oil, vegetable oil and canola oil.”

Social media users were quick to add their take on the topping, with some wondering what might happen next to the world’s food supply.

One asked: “Can we see wider use of food rationing in the future?


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“How secure is the UK food system?”

Another commented: “People in the UK are so ill prepared for the supply shocks and inflation.

“It’s starting. Slowly, then quickly.”

The war in Ukraine threatens the food and livelihoods of people in Europe, Africa and Asia who depend on the fertile farmland of the Black Sea region.

Russia and Ukraine grow around 14 percent of the world’s wheat and account for almost a third of world wheat exports.


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