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U.S. cold snap causing historic produce shortage
Julia Parrish, CTV Edmonton
Published Wednesday, January 23, 2013 5:24PM MST
Last Updated Wednesday, January 23, 2013 6:54PM MST
A recent cold snap in certain parts of the United States has started to take its toll on produce shipped north, and Edmontonians are noticing the difference.
“It’s the lettuce that’s poor, I’ve had fruit that’s really awful, the oranges have been like wood,” Shopper Esther Miller said.
Miller said in the last few weeks, she’s noticed certain vegetables and fruits haven not been as fresh as they normally would be.
Parts of the U.S. and Mexico recently experienced a cold snap, impacting produce such as lettuce, cucumbers and zucchini – and the price is going up.
“Things like iceberg lettuce and broccoli have quadrupled,” Produce distributor Randy Hopper said. “When there’s a very limited supply, the demand forces prices up.”
Businesses throughout Alberta are feeling the effects on the market too – Kevin Burbank, a produce manager in Calgary, said this season is one of the worst he’s seen in some time.
“We would normally sell maybe 110 produce items in one week,” Burbank said. “Now we’re down to 90 because they’re not available and prices have gone through the roof.”
Distributors told CTV News growing conditions south of the border are becoming more favourable, but it could take several weeks before the prices fall, and the quality noticeably improves.
With files from Ashley Molnar
Icicles are formed on an orange tree in an orange grove in Redlands, Calif., Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013. (AP / Jae C. Hong)