The florets are flaming out.
Australia’s two largest supermarket chains are reportedly grappling with a shortage of broccoli and other produce as the country’s massive bushfires ravage farms.
Grocery retailers Woolworths and Coles said their broccoli supplies are suffering because of the fires, which have slammed at least 19,000 farmers, the Daily Mail reported Wednesday.
“Due to extreme weather patterns in our growing regions, we are currently seeing an impact on the supply of broccoli,” a Woolworths spokesperson told a reporter for local TV station 7NEWS. “We’re working closely with our suppliers to improve supply for our customers as quickly as possible.”
The fires have reportedly hurt the availability of meat and other items, as well as broccoli at Coles supermarkets. The company said it’s trying to help suppliers by purchasing fruit and vegetables that may be blemished or smaller than usual.
“We apologize to our customers if the product they wish to buy is currently unavailable and thank them for helping us to help Australian farmers and suppliers,” a Coles spokesperson told 7NEWS in a statement.
Australian shoppers could also end up paying more for the produce that’s left on supermarket shelves. Vegetable industry group AUSVEG expects vegetable prices to spike as much as 50 percent as the bushfires scorch crops and squeeze growers, Australian broadcaster ABC reported this week.
The fires have burned millions of acres of land, left more than two dozen people dead and killed more than 1 billion animals since they started raging last year. Firefighters said this week that they may be finally reining in the blazes thanks to cooler weather.
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