The supply of flowers, green beans, mangetout, sugar snap peas and some exotic fruits are under threat as volcanic ash grounds planes destined for the UK.

Supermarkets have downplayed the risk of a serious shortage of the items, many of which come from Kenya, but the grocers’just in time delivery schedules mean that while there is some stock kept in reserve, it is only enough to last for two or three days, according to the Telegraph.

It reported that 400 tonnes of flowers destined for Europe were due to be destroyed in Kenya yesterday. From now on flowers and fresh goods will be destroyed each day that the crisis caused by the volcanic ash cloud continues.

An Asda spokesperson told the Sunday Times: “This is not going to cause problems on the supply side after one or two days. We’re not worried yet. If it carries on for another week, it would be more of an issue.”

Tesco said: “Fewer than 1% of our products are air-freighted. Those that are include orchids, chillies and some exotic fruit.

“Where possible we’re using alternative routes to bring these products to the UK, for example by road and rail from airports which remain open in Europe.”

Airlines began grounding flights on Thursday when the volcano in Iceland began erupting, resulting in a volcanic ash cloud that was travelling towards Europe, making flying dangerous.