A new report warns that British-grown fresh produce is at risk from climate change due to factors such as a lack of water, unpredictable weather events and warmer average temperatures.
Published last month by The Climate Coalition: Recipe for disaster: climate change threatens British-grown fruit and veg,cites many of the supply issues caused by last year’s difficult growing conditions and warns that they could become the new normal.
According to the authors, who have drawn on research by the Priestley International Centre for Climate, apple growers lost around 25% of their harvest in 2017 due to unexpectedly late frosts. Carrot (down a reported 25-30%) and onion yields (reportedly down 40% on a normal year) were hampered in 2018 by warmer than average temperatures. Potato yields were down on average 20% in England and Wales in 2018 compared to the previous season, making it the 4th smallest harvest since 1960.
Other crops which the report’s authors say could suffer include grapes, cauliflower, lettuce and onions. Over the last decade more than half of UK farmers say their business has been affected by a severe climatic event.
Photo Caption: More than half the farmers in the UK say they have experienced severe weather events.
Photo Credit: NOAA Photo Library