In a normal year, Spain supplies more than 50 per cent of Europe's vegetables during the winter, shipping more than 100,000 tonnes a month of lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and between 50,000 and 100,000 tonnes of other vegetables including cauliflower and broccoli.
It may have escaped the attention of those in Britain but this year we have had a particularity bad winter We started with a very dry autumn which was followed by heavy rain and even snow. The bad weather has reduced harvests by an estimated 60 per cent, with production wiped out across the Mediterranean, including large swathes of Italy, Greece and Spain.
Worst effected are those crops like potatoes which have rotted in ground soaked with water but other crops like courgettes, broccoli and lettuce have also suffered. Reports show that some supermarkets in the UK are restricting customers buying certain vegetables and at the same time hiking up the prices.