Extreme weather causes cauliflower stocks to drop

August 27, 2019 (Last Updated August 27th, 2019 14:52)

A shortage of cauliflower caused by extreme weather conditions in the UK and Europe have led wholesale prices to soar by 400%.

Extreme weather causes cauliflower stocks to drop
Extreme weather conditions have caused a cauliflower shortage Credit: Liz West

A shortage of cauliflower caused by extreme weather conditions in the UK and Europe have led wholesale prices to soar, rising by 400%. Growers are charging £3 as opposed to the usual £0.60, which could substantially drive up the prices of cauliflower-based foods.

Cauliflower has recently gained huge popularity in both restaurants and on social media. Pitched as a healthy substitute to meat and carbohydrates, it is used as a replacement in everything from steak to pizza bases. However, the new wonder-food could be threatened by rapidly increasing prices. 

Why are stocks threatened?

The changing weather conditions caused by global warming are a very sobering example of how weather can break the food system. A recent study found that if greenhouse emissions continue on their current path, by 2100 yields could fall by 35%. This is also resulting from water scarcity, as well as increased salinity and ozone. 

Some research estimates that the cauliflower shortage could cause farmers to experience severe economic losses of up to US$2300. With the high demand for plant-based foods, restaurants have been forced to look into alternatives to replace the popular ingredient. However, weather conditions are likely to continue deteriorating, and affect more crops. As such, companies need to learn how to overcome these shortages as they become more and more frequent as a result of global warming. 


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