- Advertisement -
HomeGlobal NewsPasta shortages at supermarkets due to climate change killing wheat

Pasta shortages at supermarkets due to climate change killing wheat

A shortage of durum wheat has caused the pasta problem following a drought, as well as soaring temperatures hitting farms in Canada, one of its biggest producers

If fuel shortages in the UK weren’t bad enough, then pasta lovers may want to take a seat.

The Italian food staple is at risk of being taken off of supermarket following a disastrous wheat harvest over summer, hitting the worldwide supply chain and causing prices to rocket.

A shortage of durum wheat has caused the problem following a drought, as well as soaring temperatures hitting farms in Canada, which one of its biggest producers.

The key ingredient is ground into semolina in order to make spaghetti, penne and macaroni pasta shapes.

But Canadian farmers are currently down on the crop by 40 to 50% following a deadly summer that had reached a national-record high temperature of 49.6C within June.

The killer heatwave was then followed by an unprecedented drought which had further harmed wheat production.

This comes after the Prime Minister has denied the UK is in crisis as both labour shortages and supply issues continue to affect the nation. Amidst the shortages, the PM said that the economy was facing the “stresses and strains that you’d expect from a giant waking up” after the COVID-19.

Farmers on both sides of the Atlantic have struggled due to climate change, with wheat producing regions in Europe affected by extreme rain.

Flooding over summer battered the crop in France while in Italy, the home of pasta, a frosty early spring and a dry summer reduced the quality and quantity of durum wheat.

Shoppers around the country have complained of pasta shortages at their local supermarket in recent weeks.

Empty shelves were seen in Sainsbury’s stores in Birmingham and Surrey today and at Tesco stores in Edinburgh and Bristol.

Tesco denied having a shortage due to the supply of durum wheat, while Morrisons blamed reduced availability on the Italian national holidays.

But the Director of Eurostar Commodities, Jason Bull, said we should be ‘under no illusion’ that climate change is causing problems to pasta supplies.

He said: ‘It’s crazy. I’ve been doing this for 17 years, but I’ve not seen this before.

‘It’s because of the durum crop – pasta is made with durum wheat, and Canada’s biggest exporter.

‘They’ve had a very bad crop due to extreme dry weather, it’s hardly rained since they planted the crop so they’re down about 42%. It had a big drop and then the USA is down nearly 50%.

‘Couple with hat the opposite effect, in Europe and France they’ve had excessive rain, so the wheat crop isn’t suitable for milling.

‘So, it’s a bad situation on both sides of the Atlantic.’

Mr Bull said the scramble for the wheat has pushed the price up by 90 to 100%, ‘which feeds into an increase cost of raw materials’.

This comes after the business secretary has said that soldiers will be delivering fuel in the next couple of days to ease petrol supply issues. Kwasi Kwarteng, the UK’s business secretary, has admitted that the past few days, which have seen long queues outside petrol stations and some pumps running dry, had been “difficult”.

He warned that shortages could be felt for some time to come as climate change leads to more extreme weather patterns.

‘If Canada and the USA continue to get dry weather an no rainfall it will affect the crops,’ Mr Bull said.

UK shoppers wanting pasta now face empty shelves, and may have to to pay up to 50% more for pasta in the future.

The problem has been exacerbated by a national shortage of delivery drivers and supply issues in Italy.

Britain has an estimated shortage of 100,000 heavy goods vehicle (HGV) drivers for many reasons, including Brexit, Covid, industry pay and drivers retiring.

The shortage has sown chaos throughout British supply chains, in everything from food to fuel.

One person in the south east shared a photo of an all but empty pasta section this morning, saying petrol pumps were also dry.

Eve Cooper
Eve Cooper
I've been writing articles and stories for as long as I can remember and in the past few years I've had the fortune of turning that love & passion for writing into my job :)

Breaking News Today is a small UK business struggling to stay afloat during COVID lockdown. If you enjoyed this article or found it useful please subscribe to all of our social media outlets.

- Advertisement -


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -

Stay Connected


Must Read

- Advertisement -