Major floods in Australia cause significant lettuce shortage
Australia has been suffering from a shortage of lettuce, following adverse weather conditions which affected production.
According to the BBC, consumers have been hit by soaring prices for some fresh fruit and vegetables with social media users posting pictures of lettuces costing over A$10 (US$7.18), which is three times the usual price.
Even fast food giant KFC has been forced to put a mixture of lettuce and cabbage into its burgers and wraps after floods destroyed lettuce crops.
On its website KFC Australia said: "Due to the recent floods in NSW [New South Wales] and QLD [Queensland] we're currently experiencing a lettuce shortage. So, we're using a lettuce and cabbage blend on all products containing lettuce until further notice."
Like other countries around the world, Australia has been hit by food supply chain issues caused by the war in Ukraine and the pandemic.
However, Australia's own food production has also been affected by extreme weather events such as major flooding on the east coast earlier this year.
Such events have helped drive up the cost of living for Australians, with consumer prices surging by 5.1% in the first three months of 2022. This is the highest rate of inflation in the country for 20 years, with expectations that it could rise even higher.
On Tuesday, the Reserve Bank of Australia which is the country’s central bank raised the cost of borrowing by more than expected and increased its main interest rate by half a percentage point to 0.85% as it tries to control surging inflation.