Bell Pepper

Recent biosecurity concerns raised by MPI over three shipments from the Netherlands has meant that a batch of capsicums couldn't be sold creating a shortage in New Zealand supermarkets and will result in a higher on-shelf price when they do appear again.

Locally-grown capsicums have had a tough time battling the weather of late, and it still would not be enough to cover the shortage.

Antoinette Laird, head of external relations for Foodstuffs has said there is a chance of reduced supply for supermarket shelves over the next 5-6 weeks.

"We are working with suppliers to address the issue, while we await the results of MPI testing before shipping additional overseas product," said Laird. "Capsicums are a Kiwi favourite that we endeavour to supply year-round. During winter months, this can mean supplementing local supply with capsicums from Australia or the Netherlands."

Prices of capsicums are expected to climb as well however it won't be here to stay. "When it comes to prices, in essence, it's all about supply and demand. With the current reduced supply, it is likely we might start to see higher prices on the shelf, in the short term."

It is suggested that passionate capsicum-consumers try the mixed frozen vegetable products that are available in freezer aisles.

"We expect capsicum supplies to return to normal once our offshore suppliers have clearance to bring their product into the country."