SPAG bol could be off the menu for millions — because there is a global shortage of tinned tomatoes.
Limited supplies of steel sheets to make cans for food production risks leaving Italian tomatoes rotting in the fields this summer.
Italy churns out about five million tons of processed tomatoes a year, second only to California.
They are harvested from July to September and need to be canned no more than 36 hours after they have been picked.
But Italy is facing a chronic shortage of tins because global steel companies are sending supplies to China — which recovered from Covid earlier.
California is not so badly affected since it produces more tomato paste, which comes in different packaging. Italian processed tomatoes are almost all packaged fresh and canned.
Natasha Linhart, of Italian retailer Atlante, said: “We cannot find cans. Big multinationals are defaulting on their contracts and the price of cans has increased by more than three times.
“We don’t know how long this shortage will last, there is no end of the tunnel in sight.”