Supermarket shortages: Farming boss slams Therese Coffey's 'flippant' turnip comments

Supermarket shortages: Farming boss slams Therese Coffey's 'flippant' turnip comments
Supermarket shortages: Farm union boss criticises Thérèse Coffey's turnip comments

A farming industry leader has criticised Therese Coffey for making "flippant" comments about turnips in response to supermarket food shortages.

The Defra secretary garnered criticism this week after she suggested people eat turnips produced in the UK while supermarkets battle a shortage of fresh produce due to weather issues, rising costs, and labour shortages caused by Brexit.

Some UK supermarkets have even implemented rationing policies to cope with the supply issues but Coffey seemed unbothered and told MPs that "it's important to make sure that we cherish the specialisms that we have in this country".

David Exwood, the vice president of the National Farmer's Union was asked about the food shortages today on Sky News and said the government needed to take action rather than make "flippant" comments.

"Amusing as it is we need to stop about turnips and take food supply seriously," he said.

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He added that the UK needs to produce its own food instead of rely on cheap imports from Europe.

"This is a serious situation," he added. "We need the government to take it seriously rather than make flippant comments about turnips".

Meanwhile, in the latest food shortage nightmare, volumes of carrots, leeks, cabbage and cauliflower could run low “within weeks,” growers have warned.

Jack Ward, CEO of the British Growers Association, said: “The industry is beginning to see the negative impact of last summer’s extreme temperatures and drought on UK crops.

“Volumes are running low as a result of the weather last summer and the situation has been made worse by harsh frosts around Christmas.

“Consequently we may start to see stocks of crops like carrots, leeks, cabbage and cauliflower running low within the coming weeks.

He added: “Europe has also been hit by adverse weather conditions and so supplies from other parts of Europe may be difficult to source until the new crops start to appear around June.”

Oh well, at least turnips are fine.

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