Monday, 27 Mar 2023

UK faces 'pizza crisis' as tomato prices soar amid shortage

Another one of the British public’s favourite foods could be under threat thanks to the tomato shortage.

A pizza ‘crisis’ may emerge as some companies are left unable to afford to make the passata base.

Tomato prices have skyrocketed by 400% – from £5 a case to £20, reports suggest.

This may mean chefs are forced to ‘get creative’ with their ingredients, experts have warned.

Cheeses like ricotta, or vegetables including courgettes or aubergines could be used as a base and to thicken sauces, UK Italian chefs’ federation boss Enzo Oliveri has said.

He wants the government to cap the price of tomatoes says he ‘doesn’t see any light at the end of the tunnel’.

Bosses at one Italian restaurant in north London have already cautioned diners that tomatoes could be briefly removed from the menu.  

Carmelo Carnavale, who runs Lizzie’s Cucina, told The Sun: ‘When I put something with different ingredients on the menu customers still want tomato.

‘But if the price is going to rise again I will take out tomato from the menu for at least three weeks.’

‘You can’t magic up tomatoes in a very short space of time’, Jim Winship, Chair of the British Pizza, Pasta and Italian Food Association, has also added.

It comes as shoppers face restrictions on fruit and vegetables at supermarkets amid dwindling stock.

Shops including Asda, Tesco, Aldi and Morrisons have put limits on certain products.

It’s believed the problem is down to a mixture of bad weather, transport problems and poor yields in Europe and Africa.

People have been asked not to panic buy and it’s hoped that supplies will improve in the next few weeks.

But former Environment Secretary George Eustice today warned that the issue could last another month.

He said the situation is out of officials’ hands, adding: ‘There isn’t much different that the government could have done.’

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