Shoppers devastated as shortage hits canned beetroot

A “national emergency” has been declared by some Australians as canned beetroot disappears from supermarket shelves.

Shoppers at Woolworths, Coles and Aldi have taken to social media after struggling to find their favourite pantry item.

One popular meme Facebook page, Born of Convicts, called the lack of beetroot a “national emergency”.

“Just the start of massive shortages of food in Australia. Start growing your own folks,” one person warned.

Another said: “Can’t have a burger without beetroot so un-Australian.”

“And here’s me thinking it was just my local Coles not being on top of their game,” another social media user said.

One added: “Who’d have ever thought we’d have a beetroot shortage. I’m absolutely devastated. I love my beetroot.”

Bad weather has created a shortage of the tinned staple – often seen on a burger or in a salad – at all major supermarkets.

Cyclone Gabrielle decimated Golden Circle’s beetroot farms in New Zealand 12 months ago, and domestic growers weren’t given enough notice to pick up the slack.

“If the retailers knew how much they’d be short, we would have been able to make up more of the shortfall,” Ed Fagan, a vegetable grower and producer at Mulyan Farm near Cowra, told The Guardian. “It would have been nice if we could have reacted a bit quicker.”

Australia’s beetroot crops typically grow in New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria.

“Due to adverse growing conditions, customers may notice varying supply levels of canned beetroot available across our store network,” a Woolworths spokesperson told news.com.au.

“We’re in close contact with our suppliers and we’re working on contingency plans to minimise any potential disruption to our customers.

“We encourage customers to be flexible if the products they would usually purchase are not available.

“Given it’s an industry wide experience, further questions are best directed to either a relevant industry body or the suppliers of these products directly.”

Coles echoed the sentiment and added that the supply of fresh beetroot has not been impacted by the adverse weather conditions.

Mr Fagan also said the 2024 crop in Australia was looking good and could help with the international shortage.

“For there to be one event that could wipe out the whole industry is really unlikely in Australia,” he told The Guardian adding beetroot was pretty resilient as a root vegetable.

Read related topics:Woolworths

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