We recently spotted a sign in the produce section of our local Penny Market reading:
“We are sorry for the limited selection of fruit and vegetables, the bad weather has affected our suppliers in southern Europe.”
A number of shoppers are reporting that Tesco is low on broccoli and leeks while the vegetables that are currently available—aside from potatoes, onions, and carrots—are almost double the price.
Is the Czech Republic facing a salad crisis? Not quite.
Consumer watchdogs say that there has indeed been a significant increase in the price of iceberg lettuce, eggplant, cucumber, and other soup and salad staples owing to the weak harvest brought on by inclement weather in Spain.
According to the Czech Statistical Office (CSO) a kilogram of cucumbers in January 2016 was almost 37 CZK. Today it costs approx. 57 CZK—an increase of 20 CZK.
A year ago, a kilogram of garlic was under 110 CZK; in January it exceeded 135 CZK.
The CSO also recorded a significant jump in the price of broccoli. While one piece in January 2016 was around 22 CZK, a year later it is 35 CZK. A head of cauliflower this year is 43.50 CZK, up last year from 34 CZK.
And yet, the salad crisis is nothing compared to Britain where shoppers are posting photos of empty produce bins and taking to social media to lament the current one-per-customer limit on lettuce.
Here in the Czech Republic, iceberg lettuce prices have remained fairly stable: 20.90 CZK this year, compared to 20.13 CZK in 2016, an increase of less than 4 CZK, at least if Kupi.cz, an on-line aggregate of supermarket circulars in the Czech Republic is correct.
According to Czech economists, consumer prices have, in general, gone up across the board due to increasing inflation which has caused a noticeable price hike in everything from fuel to food.
Kale, thankfully, is still in steady supply in Prague via various CSA services.