Sunflower oil: UK bottler has a few weeks’ supply left


The biggest cooking oil bottler for UK shops has said it only has a few weeks’ supply of sunflower oil left.Ukraine and Russia produce most of the world’s sunflower oil and the war is disrupting exports, said Edible Oils.The company, which packages oil for 75% of the UK retail market, is ramping up supplies of other oils for shoppers.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% 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.

If you buy any cooking oil on the supermarket shelves, chances are it has come from the Edible Oils plant in Erith, on the outskirts of south-east London. It bottles oil for brands and retailers own label products.”From a UK consumer perspective, sunflower oil is the biggest oil. It’s used more than anything else,” said Mr Matthews.”It’s a fast moving situation. We’re still trying to see if we can get some more but it’s looking very tight.”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.”Clearly that’s not going to happen… we’re probably going to miss the season so we could be impacted for 12-18 months.”


  • Comments (12)

    • 2

      Whoops sorry Jenny, didnt see your post until I had already posted this

      • 2

        No probs Bill, perhaps it is worthy of it’s own thread

    • 3

      I was watching this on the telly at lunchtime, the chap being interviewed reckoned they have about 4 weeks’ worth. I have a feeling the stores will be stripped by tomorrow night. *Sigh* here we go again. 

      He was saying that it’s not just bottled oil for the public, but crisps, chips, tinned tuna and bakery products that are going to be affected.

      • 1

        Thanks for that just added 20 tins of Tuna in oil to my list.

    • 2

      This was posted by one of our large chain supermarkets on their website today. I know it’s a bit of a first world problem, we are still far from starving.

      Customer Information: Due to the current conflict in Ukraine, it may be necessary to substitute sunflower oil for other oils in some products. Rapeseed oil is the most likely replacement, but other oils may be used. Customer safety is very important to us, and we have taken care to ensure that there is no allergen risk from any of the substituted oils.

      • 1

        Olive and coconut oils are two of my favorite replacements. Even using melted butter in place of oils when cooking or greasing the pan is an alternative. 

      • 2

        I use Olive oil, I have a friend who has a 50 acre Olive grove in Spain and supplies me annually. Interestingly, he uses the last pressing for biofuel for his personal vehicle as it’s more cost effective

        I wouldn’t use Coconut oil because of it’s negative environmental impact.

      • 2

        There is a farmer near me who uses every scrap of his rapeseed oil, the oil is sold as cooking oil, some is converted into bio diesel to run all the farm machines, and the waste, husks, stalks etc get used to heat the farm in furnaces.  Very neat. The only thing I dont like about it is as a crop (A) Its UGLY, and (B) it really triggers my hay fever.

        Its Palm oil I avoid as it too  is bad for the environment, Mass clearence of forests just to grow in in some places, Bloody evil.

      • 2

        Yep palm oil is another one. I do my best to avoid it. Scratch cooking helps and reading labels on hygiene products is a must but it’s bloomin’ difficult.

        The boy has the same problem with Rapeseed. I quite like the look of a field in full bloom, but it makes TERRIBLE honey! It sets rock solid and tastes bitter

      • 1

        Ah but more importantly will I still be able to get Pork Scratchings 🙂

      • 2


    • 2

      Some supermarkets have now placed a cap on the maximum amount of oil you can buy. One has placed a cap of 2 1 litre bottles per purchase, I’m sure others will follow. Of course the MSM are calling it rationing! 


      And then of course there are the profiteers 🙁

      5L KTC Sunflower oil on Fleabay is selling for £19.99 (normal price £6.00ish)