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article imageLemon Supply Shrinking

By Bob Ewing     Aug 16, 2008 in Food
The poor weather in the lemon growing regions have reduced the supply of lemons to the point where some are forced to do without.
The weather has not been kind to the lemon crop and restaurants are experiencing a serious shortage.
Sunkist is a major global supplier of this bright yellow fruit and they have stated supplies of lemons are down around the globe by about 25 per cent.
In 2007 a freeze affected this year's crop in California while wind and drought have hurt Spain's lemon yield.
"In addition, because it's a shorter crop, a lot more of the crop is going into the fresh market so there's a lot less available for the juice market," Claire Smith, director of corporate communications for Sunkist Growers said.
"It's basically weather problems on a global basis and probably next year if the growing conditions are good we should see it back up to normal in the summer of 2009."
Rami Kostek owns Halifax's Tarke's Café and he's had to squeeze his own lemons which is a more expensive alternative.
"All those suppliers, they don't have it," he said. "They are waiting for [a] shipment. When? I don't know," he said.
"We go every day, they say they don't have it in stock and the big suppliers in town and in the city say they [are] still waiting for the shipment but [it] has been a month and a half now."
It will be late August before supplies in the grocery stores are replenished.
"For the past three weeks we have been shorted lemon juice. However, we still on our shelves have our organic lemon juice and we have not sold out of that, speaking with our suppliers in regard our lemon juice, we should have our shelves filled by the first of the week." said Melissa McPherson, store manager of Pete's Frootique in Halifax
Prices have gone up but Sunkist is unable to say by how much.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture, lemon prices have been steadily increasing. In September 2007, fresh lemon prices increased 47 per cent in year-over-year comparisons to $46.10 per 76-pound (34-kg) box.
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