THE current lack of fruit and vegetables available in supermarkets is down to "susceptibility to global events beyond our control" according to a farming union.

Shoppers across the country have been met with fruit and vegetable shortages in stores this week, with supermarkets making the decision to ration some items.

Tesco, which has a store in Ruthin, issued a statement on the situation on Twitter.

This read: "For a short time we're limiting tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers to 3 per customer.

"This is due to poor weather conditions abroad and we're working hard with our suppliers to get things back to normal as quickly as we can.

"Thanks for your understanding at this time."

READ MORE: FUW is highlighting the importance of food production

A Farmers' Union of Wales (FUW) spokesperson said: "Our susceptibility to global events beyond our control and the importance of maintaining and bolstering the UK's food and energy security has rarely been exposed so starkly as during the past three years.

"The recent reports of fruit and vegetable shortages on supermarket shelves highlights exactly that.

"We are in a fortunate position whereby most, if not all, food products are available to purchase all year round, and while certain foods are impossible to grow in Wales and the UK, such shortages show how important it is to appreciate how our food is produced.

"The FUW launched its five-point plan last year which we believe should be implemented in order to help relieve pressures for farmers, food producers and consumers in the immediate term, while bolstering UK food and energy security in ways which reduce the dangers of future exposure to global emergencies."

NFU Cymru president Aled Jones said: “We are repeatedly seeing a predictable combination of factors such as energy costs and weather leading to empty supermarket shelves.

"Our UK food resilience is currently gone. The government needs to take this seriously.

“Producers must have the confidence they need, working within a fair and transparent supply chain, ensuring fair and sustainable returns so they can do what they do best; produce nutritious, high quality Welsh and British Food to meet demand from shoppers.”

Meanwhile best before dates on fresh fruit and vegetables are set to ‘expire’ as Co-op axes the dates from more than 150 lines of fresh produce in a move designed to help customers cut food waste in the home and save money, the convenience retailer has confirmed.

Shoppers will see changes in store later this month with best before dates removed from all of Co-op’s fresh produce – including apples, oranges, tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, onions and broccoli.

The exception will be a small number of the more perishable products, or where it can be harder to use visual cues and judgement to establish the suitability to consume.