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New Fruit Logistic Analysis Reveals UK Fruit and Vegetable Market Faces Stagnant Production

In the latest edition of the Fruit Logistica handbook, an in-depth analysis reveals a concerning trend for the UK's fruit and vegetable sector.



Despite a marginal increase in domestic production, the industry grapples with relatively static levels of production and imports, painting a complex picture for the year ahead.


As the UK navigates through these turbulent times, average prices have surged, primarily due to a constrained supply chain. Growers and suppliers are feeling the pinch as the costs of inputs and overheads escalate.


The shadow of climate change looms large, with water scarcity and extreme weather events further exacerbating the supply limitations. This environmental upheaval has led to a nearly 2% reduction in Europe's fruit harvest compared to 2022, with significant declines observed in apples, pears, grapes, and oranges.


Conversely, the vegetable yield saw a slight increase of nearly 2% in 2023, despite a downturn in greenhouse production.


A closer look at the UK's production figures reveals a mixed bag of outcomes.


The apple industry saw a notable increase in tonnage, rising from 206,000 in 2022 to 240,000 in 2023. However, the overall fruit production slightly dipped to 647,000 from 652,000 in the previous year.


The breakdown includes strawberries at 122,000, maintaining a steady growth, while pears, raspberries, blackcurrants, plums, and cherries showed varied levels of production.


The vegetable sector, on the other hand, experienced a slight decrease in output, from 2,154,000 in 2022 to 2,136,000 in 2023. Key staples such as carrots, onions, lettuce, cauliflowers, and broccoli contributed to this total, each with its own story of fluctuation.


On the import front, the UK saw an increase in sweetcorn, avocado, and berries, indicating a growing consumer demand for these products.


However, apple imports declined, reflecting a broader trend of reduced fruit imports from 3,277,000 to 3,212,000. Tomato imports also saw a slight decrease, while cucumbers experienced growth.


The overall vegetable imports remained unchanged from the previous year, highlighting a stable but challenging import market.



Brexit has cast a long shadow over the sector, with apple exports halving to 10,000 tonnes, underscoring the ongoing adjustments within the industry.


As Fruit Logistica prepares to open its doors in Berlin from 7 to 9 February 2024, stakeholders from around the globe will converge to discuss these trends and challenges.


The event promises to be a pivotal moment for the industry, offering insights and solutions for navigating the complexities of the global fruit and vegetable market.


For more information, visit the Fruit Logistica website.

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