Speed Reading — Vegetable Shortages - Level 5 — 200 wpm

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Shoppers in Britain are hunting around to find fruit and vegetables. Britain's big supermarkets are rationing produce like cucumbers and tomatoes amid shortages from suppliers. The big chains have given various reasons for the shortfall in supply and why shelves are bare in supermarket aisles. Britain's biggest chain, Tesco, has limited purchases of some vegetables to just three per customer. Tesco said shortages were due to adverse weather overseas. It said a drought in Morocco had led to poor harvests. Tesco assured customers it was working hard to "get things back to normal".

Other factors are behind the rationing. Britain's farmers are facing higher energy costs. It is no longer profitable for many growers to operate. In addition, a tomato disease has wiped out various crops across Europe. An industry analyst said Brexit has also played a part. He said: "If there are shortfalls in production in the EU, then it makes sense for EU producers to serve their local demand first. This leaves less available for export to the U.K." Many shoppers are shocked at seeing photos on social media of supermarket shelves in Europe, and in war-torn Ukraine, full of fresh produce.

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