mi-sk-produce-david-karwack

David Karwacki, a produce wholesaler in Saskatoon, says consumers will notice a spike in the price of fresh vegetables. ((CBC))

Tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers are expected to become scarce commodities that could soar in price, according to produce suppliers in Saskatchewan.

David Karwacki, a wholesale dealer in produce based in Saskatoon, told CBC News that a recent spell of crop-damaging frost in Mexico is to blame.

Before the frost, Karwacki said, food outlets were expecting an abundance of produce.

"It was going to be a bumper crop," Karwacki said. "There were going to be very inexpensive prices.  In fact those were just starting to be reflected at retail.  And then this, this freeze took everybody by surprise."

Karwacki said the price of some vegetables could quadruple.

mi-sk-produce-sign-300

A notice in a Saskatoon sandwich shop explains to customers that some fresh ingredients will be scarce. ((CBC))

The problem is already being noticed at some sandwich shops, which have been forced to tell customers to hold the vegetables, because they've run out.

"Green peppers are very difficult right now,"  Ashley Elgersma, the manager of a Pita Pit shop in Saskatoon, told CBC News. "Cucumbers, tomatoes, iceberg, spinach those are the main ones -- [and] sprouts."

Elgersma said she has found supplies for her shop, but prices have jumped for a long list of items.

"It's not just stuck to a couple vegetables," she said. " I've never seen it this high before."

Elgersma said she has maintained her sandwich prices, despite the spike in supply costs.

Karwacki said consumers can expect to see a jump in prices, and scarce supplies, for about a month.