The biggest cooking oil bottler for UK shops has said it only has a few weeks’ supply of sunflower oil left as the war between Russian and Ukraine is disrupting the exports. The two countries produce most of the world’s sunflower oil.
Edible Oils, which packages oil for 75 per cent of the UK retail market, is ramping up supplies of other oils for shoppers, the BBC reported on Sunday.
Meanwhile, manufacturers of foods that contain sunflower oil, like crisps, oven chips and cereal bars, are reworking their recipes.
The Food Standards Agency has advised people with allergies to look out for extra information from shops and food makers.
Kim Matthews, commercial director at Edible Oils said 80 per cent of the global supply of sunflower oil comes out of Russia and Ukraine.
“So obviously, with everything going on out there, we physically can’t get sunflower to be coming out of the country,” he said.
Edible Oils Ltd has upped production to 24/7 to try to make sure it has plenty of rapeseed and other oils to put on the shelves when the sunflower oil goes.
“Sunflower is great because you can cook at high temperatures. Rapeseed is very similar. You can do exactly the same with it,” he said.
But it was far from clear when sunflower oil supplies will be back to normal, he said.
“At the moment, Ukrainian farmers should be sowing the seeds now for the harvest in October and November.
Sunflower oil can also be found in many hundreds of products, like ready meals, biscuits and mayonnaise.
Food manufacturers are now racing to find alternative ingredients.