UK fruit and vegetable consumption may decline after Brexit

UK fruit and vegetable consumption may decline after Brexit


The consequences of the so-called “no-deal Brexit” for the UK can be much more serious than the COVID-19 pandemic

The final withdrawal of the UK from the EU without a final agreement could lead to significant problems with food supplies, EastFruit reports citing a study by the SRUC team (Scotland’s Rural College – Rural College of Scotland), the results of which are presented in The London Economic.

SRUC experts warn that the consequences of the so-called “no-deal Brexit” for the UK could be much more serious than from the COVID-19 pandemic, and many people will not be able to provide themselves with the necessary rate of fruits and vegetables.

The aim of the study was to analyze a hypothetical situation suggesting that the UK would not be able to agree on the final conditions for leaving the EU by the end of the transition period in December this year. The result of this, according to experts, would be multiple violations of the supply chain of products to the UK market.

The study compared the prices of 20 fruit and vegetable categories in March-April of the current year and the same period of the previous one. During the “coronacrisis”, the UK reduced imports of fruits and vegetables from the EU, while prices for many of the items, on the contrary, rose. For example, onion prices for this period rose by 27%, while mushrooms and tomatoes went up by 10%.

The United Kingdom is very dependent on imports of both fruits and vegetables. Of the vegetable categories, the country imports more than half of the total consumption of tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, mushrooms, peppers and lettuce. At the same time, the share of EU countries in these deliveries varies from 75% to 100%. This indicator for the period of quarantine measures has not changed, with the exception of segments of tomatoes and onions, whose imports from the EU in the first quarter of 2020 decreased.

As a result, possible interruptions in supplies from the EU if the UK fails to agree on the final terms of Brexit can lead to a decrease in the consumption of fruits and vegetables among the British population, especially those whose incomes are low. In 2018, only 28% of adults in the UK ate the recommended 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day, and the average was only 3.7 servings. At the same time, there were fewer men who consumed 5 servings of vegetables and fruits per day than women, and the proportion of children aged 5 to 15 years observing this norm was only 18%.


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UK fruit and vegetable consumption may decline after Brexit
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