Coles Group Ltd., Australia's second-largest supermarket chain, announced the limits in a statement on its website. According to the statement, "a temporary purchase limit of two items per transaction" will apply to its frozen French fries "due to supply issues."
Flooding and heavy rain across Australia's east coast damaged various crops such as lettuce, wheat and fruits. These led to shortage of household staples, including French fries. Meanwhile, AUSVEG – the country's industry group for vegetable and potato growers – confirmed that wet weather in Tasmania hampered the potato harvest and many farmers were unable to access their fields with machinery.
"It's delayed planting windows, and you can only delay the window for so long before you start to lose the opportunity," said AUSVEG National Communications Manager Shaun Lindhe. He added that the impact on processed potato products such as frozen French fries will likely persist into 2023.
The weather-related agricultural disruptions in the Land Down Under have exacerbated the strain felt by the global food market following the Russia-Ukraine war. It has caused disruptions in the global supply chain and driven up the price of vital farming inputs.
Back in June of this year, similar weather disturbances affected the supply of lettuce being delivered to the Australian franchise of fast food chain KFC. Given the shortage of vegetables, the chain was forced to use a mix of cabbage and lettuce in some of its food items.
"Due to the recent floods in NSW [New South Wales] and 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," the KFC Australia website explained. It urged customers who do not prefer the lettuce-cabbage mix to remove it from their orders via the Customize option on the website. (Related: Shortage Down Under: Aussie KFC fast food chains now substituting CABBAGE for lettuce.)
While Coles is limiting the number of frozen French fries customers can buy, two supermarkets in the United Kingdom put this rationing measure in place for eggs.
Supermarket chain Asda said shoppers can only buy a maximum of two boxes of eggs per transaction.
"To make sure as many customers as possible can buy eggs, we have introduced a temporary limit of two boxes per customer," said an Asda spokesperson. "We are working hard with our suppliers to resolve the industry challenges which are currently affecting all supermarkets."
Meanwhile, Lidl imposed a three-box limit for shoppers. A notice at one Lidl location stated: "Let's keep enough for everyone … to ensure that everyone has the essentials they need." Tesco, the U.K.'s largest supermarket chain, also followed Lidl's example with a three-box limit of eggs for shoppers.
Other supermarket chains in the U.K. have refused to limit the number of eggs customers can purchase.
Morrisons, Marks & Spencer and Co-op reassured customers that egg purchases at their stores will not be limited. Waitrose said it has not introduced any limits as of press time, but remarked that it is "continuing to monitor customer demand."
The supermarkets pointed to bird flu outbreaks as the reason for the shortage of eggs. But according to Wales-based poultry farmer Ioan Humphreys, this is not the case.
In reality, supermarkets not paying farmers enough for the eggs despite increasing the price for the consumer are to blame. Even though the costs of feed, electricity and new chickens have gone up, the price increase is not reaching farmers.
"It's the supermarkets not buying for a fair price which is the issue," Humphreys told the Epoch Times. "They are taking things a bit overboard by rationing. It'll create panic buying."
Humphreys also blasted the mainstream media for "getting it wrong" by blaming bird flu. "There was bird flu last year, and there wasn't a shortage of eggs because we could afford to produce," he said.
FoodRationing.news has more stories about groceries imposing limits on food items customers can purchase.
Watch this video about British grocer Tesco imposing rationing measures on their food items.
This video is from The Prisoner channel on Brighteon.com.