Fears vegetable rationing will spread as 'other stores prepare similar cutbacks'

Fears are growing that vegetable rationing will spread as 'other stores prepare similar cutbacks' after Asda and Morrisons limited the number of items customers can buy.

The shortages are being blamed on bad weather and transport issues in Spain and Morocco, as well as soaring energy costs for producers. 

Lucky shoppers who have managed to get their hands on essential fruit and vegetables discovered that prices have sky-rocketed, with some products tripling in price.

Perishables like tomatoes, potatoes, cucumber and broccoli have been restricted to just two or three per customer in a host of stores up and down the country.

Empty fruit and vegetable shelves at an Asda supermarket in east London yesterday

Empty aisles at a Tesco store in Liverpool as a shortage of products continues to hit supermarkets

Pictured, clockwise from top-left: Cucumber, potatoes, tomatoes, sprouting broccoli, peppers, cauliflower

Minette Batters, head of the National Farmers' Union (NFU), pictured in December last year

Empty fruit and veg shelves pictured yesterday at a Morrisons store in Paignton

The crisis has developed in recent weeks due to soaring energy costs which have forced British farmers to switch off greenhouses as they desperately try to make ends meet - leaving a dearth of home-grown produce.

Meanwhile, a 'perfect storm' of flooding, cold temperatures and cancelled ferries have caused major supply problems on the Continent, meaning supermarkets have also struggled to access imported goods.

Store bosses initially insisted that supplies will improve 'in the coming days', before the British Retail Consortium trade body later admitted disruption will likely last 'a few weeks'.

Minette Batters, president of the National Farmers' Union (NFU), told the ind...