Greenhouse control system experts, Tomtech, have highlighted the opportunities for growers to produce more salad crops in the UK, after the recent crisis in Spain led to shortages in supermarkets. Extreme storms and freezing conditions in Spain in early 2023, have resulted in damaged crops which have limited supplies to the UK and driven up prices. These issues have been compounded by transportation difficulties and insufficient greenhouse production to satisfy demand.
The situation has seen many supermarkets in the UK, including Tesco, Asda and Morrisons, temporarily restrict their customers’ purchases of fresh produce.
However, leading greenhouse control experts, Tomtech, see these challenges as an opportunity for UK based horticulturists to grow more and reduce our reliance on imports.
“This is a big opportunity for companies to start growing more produce in the UK and improve the security of our fresh salad supply chain. Fortunately, our greenhouse control systems can help you create the ideal growing conditions, whatever the weather” says Krzysztof Hernik.
Coexphal, an association of more than 101 fruit and vegetable companies in Spain, whose members account for 70% of Almeria’s fruit and vegetable exports, reported that tomato production fell 22%, cucumbers were down 21% and peppers and aubergines reduced by 25%.
The association stated that the situation meant their members experienced problems fulfilling client orders.
“Without the proper control equipment, it is difficult to maintain the conditions in which crops are grown, particularly in extreme weather. Supermarkets will be keen to identify a more reliable local supplier to avoid this in the future.” adds Krzysztof Hernik, Managing Director of Tomtech.
As the impact of climate change and unpredictable extreme weather becomes more frequent in Europe, Tomtech believe there may be more of a reliance on growing produce in the country in which it is consumed.
“This is perhaps a pivotal moment for British growers, demonstrating the need for greater UK horticulture. Our highly adaptive systems give you full control, allowing you to optimise your growing conditions and reliably grow fresh salad all year round” concludes Krzysztof Hernik.