Torrential rain in Spain means spinach shortage and blow to Popeye wannabees

William Turvill
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FILES - Picture taken on March 8, 2007 s
Who wouldn't want to look like Popeye (centre left)? (Source: Getty)

New Year gym-goers aiming to build up a Popeye-like physique have been dealt a major blow.

Torrential rain in Spain has damaged this winter’s spinach crop, and supermarkets are struggling to feed consumer demand.

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Waitrose supermarkets, for instance, have signs warning shoppers of the shortage.

“Apologies, for the next three weeks we will experience a shortage of spinach, due to torrential rain in Southern Spain,” a notice in one London outlet says.

“We are working closely with growers to maximise availability whilst ensuring that our quality standards are met.”

Andy Weir, head of marketing at Reynolds, a major supplier of Spanish salad crops, acknowledged the torrential rain problem.

And he also warned that broccoli, courgettes, rocket, lettuce, tomatoes, peppers and aubergines are facing a tough time due to cold temperatures in Spain.

“What we’ve got now is very low, freezing temperatures across southern Spain… where a lot of the produce we consume in the UK at this time of year is grown” he told City A.M.

“It’s affecting all parts of production. It’s slowing down plant growth, it’s preventing harvesting in a lot of cases, and it’s affecting transportation as well.”

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Evidence: Waitrose warns London customers of three-week shortage (Source: Eleanor Humphrys)

On the spinach situation, a Waitrose spokesperson told City A.M.:

There is an industry wide shortage of spinach due to torrential rain in Spain before Christmas. However, we do have frozen spinach available for our customers.

The Grocer magazine has reported that Sainsbury's and Tesco have also been hit by the shortage, with spinach said to be like "gold dust" at present.

A Sainsbury’s spokesperson said: “There has been severe weather in Southern Europe but we are working with our suppliers to maintain supply for our customers.”

Tesco has also been asked for comment.

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