Monitoring imports of fruit and veg into the UK
When it comes to fruit and vegetable supplies, the UK relies heavily on imports, with 47.3% of our vegetables and 84% of our fruit imported from outside of the UK [Hort Stats,2018]. According to DEFRA’s Food Statistics Pocketbook (image below) there is nearly a £10 billion trade gap in fruit and vegetables, significantly higher than the trade deficit for other food categories. With Covid-19 and associated social distancing measures continuing to impact on supply chains, and with Brexit trade negotiations having recently restarted, we intend to track any monthly changes in the amount of fruit and veg imported into the UK from outside of the country.
We’ll focus on six countries: Spain, the Netherlands, South Africa, the Republic of Ireland, Chile, and Costa Rica. Together these six countries supplied 63.4% of all UK veg imports and 48.6% of fruit imports in 2018. Using the Office of National Statistics country by commodity dataset, we’ll be tracking the total value of fruit and vegetable imports into the UK from these countries on a month by month basis. View our trade tracker here.
View our COVID-19 tracker in full.