UK limited purchase per customer of cooking oil due to war in Ukraine

FILE PHOTO. A field of sunflowers on the border between Greece and Macedonia (REUTERS / Alexandros Avramidis)

Supermarkets across the UK imposed a series of limits on the purchase of cooking oil due to supply problems caused by the war in Ukraine, which in turn raises the price of popular products such as potato chips.

This occurs because most of the sunflower oil consumed in the country comes from Ukraine, which generated a shortage problem and various difficulties in the supply chain. Olive oil and rapeseed oil were also affected.

Recent data showed that cooking oil is one of the staples whose price has skyrocketed. The price of oils and fats for cooking rose 7% since the beginning of the war and it is almost a quarter more expensive than a year agosaid the National Statistics Office on April 13.

The wholesaler Tesco, for example, It only allows the purchase of three items per customer. The UK’s largest retailer claims to have a good supply of cooking oil, but a small number of vegetable oils are out of stock on its website.

FILE - In the case of olive oil, it is preferable to use the refined one for frying rather than the current one.  Photo: Christin Klose/dpa
FILE – In the case of olive oil, it is preferable to use the refined one for frying rather than the current one. Photo: Christin Klose/dpa

Waitrose and Morrison, for their part, do not allow buying more than two containers per personas reported by the British chain SkyNews. Waitrose said it was “closely monitoring the situation” and working with its suppliers “to ensure customers continue to have a choice of cooking oils”.

A spokesman for the The Sainsbury chain has explained that they do not plan to limit the purchase and Asda has not imposed any regulations in this regard.

In addition to being a A staple of the home pantry, sunflower oil can also be found in hundreds of productsfrom ready meals to chips, cookies and mayonnaise.

“The war in Ukraine has affected UK sunflower oil supplies”, explained a spokesman for the Consortium of British Retailers, Tom Holder.

In addition, Holder added that the measure was temporary and had the goal of “guarantee availability for all”.

He also assured that retailers were “working with suppliers to increase production of alternative cooking oils, to minimize the impact on consumers.”

Fries in Hawksmoor, in London, United Kingdom (REUTERS / Dylan Martinez)
Fries in Hawksmoor, in London, United Kingdom (REUTERS / Dylan Martinez)

Tom Lockfounder of The British Snack Company, which makes potato chips for sale in pubs, told Guardian what after potatoes, its other key ingredient was sunflower oil.

“Sunflower oil is the industry standard for snacks”said Lock, who explained that the company was forced to switch to rapeseed oil. “It is impossible to get sunflower oil in any quantity. You just can’t get it. We have harvested enough rapeseed to get through August, but we are paying triple what we paid for sunflower oil a year ago”.

Lock said it was inevitable that the price increases would be passed on to the customer: “We have already made a price increase to our customers this year.”

Russian tanks and missiles besieging Ukraine they also threaten the food supply and livelihoods of people in Europe, Africa and Asia who depend on the vast and fertile farmlands of the Black Sea region, known as the “barn of the world”.

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