European farm and food groups said soaring energy prices could lead to shortages of fruit and vegetables, as high utility bills force more companies to curb production. “Refrigeration and cooling are very energy intensive, as is the heating of greenhouses,” said Pekka Pesonen, secretary general at Brussels-based farm lobby Copa-Cogeca. “We might expect some shortages and greater seasonality, as well as a rise in prices to somewhat offset the increase of production costs.” Europe faces its worst energy crisis in 50 years as Russia slashes gas deliveries in retaliation for sanctions imposed over its invasion of Ukraine. Now surging costs are prompting industry groups to call for special treatment ahead of Friday’s key European Union meeting to discuss ways of easing the energy crunch. Earlier this week, the European metals industry reiterated it’s facing an “existential threat,” with two more aluminum producers announcing cuts, while lobby group Fertilizers Europe […]