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HomeEconomyVegetable farmers in Europe warn of shortages from energy crisis

Vegetable farmers in Europe warn of shortages from energy crisis

Ardee NAPLITANO and Sybille de La Hamaide

Boignes, France (Reuters) – Emmanuel Lefebvre produces thousands of tons of endive every year on his farm in northern France, but this year he may Abandoned

In northern and western Europe, vegetable producers are considering halting their activities as the economic hit from Europe’s energy crisis further threatens the soaring of food

Electricity and gas prices will affect crops grown in greenhouses for the winter, such as tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers, and those that require refrigeration, such as apples, onions and endives.

Chicory is particularly energy-intensive. After the bulbs are harvested in the fall, store them in sub-freezing temperatures and replant them in temperature-controlled containers for year-round production.

“We’re really wondering if we’ll be harvesting what’s in the fields this winter,” Lefebvre told Reuters at his endive packing site.

European farmers warn of shortages. The expected hit to production and higher prices means supermarkets are likely to turn to sourcing more from warmer countries such as Morocco, Turkey, Tunisia and Egypt.

Soaring natural gas prices are the biggest cost for vegetable growers growing in-house, farmers say. At the same time, two French farmers who renewed 2023 electricity contracts said that their offer was 25 of 40 times more than .

“In the next few weeks I will be planning the season, but I don’t know what to do,” said Benjamin Simonnot-DeVaux, who grows cucumbers, tomatoes and strawberries in the south of Paris said.

“If it goes on like this, there is no need to start the new year. It is not sustainable.”


Farmers aren’t just battling rising energy prices. The costs of fertilizer, packaging and shipping are all rising and jeopardizing profits.

“We are facing an increase in overall production costs of about 30 percent,” says Johannes Gross, deputy sales manager at the German cooperative Reichenau-Gemüse. The greenhouse covers Some 60 hectares. Energy accounts for half to two-thirds of those extra costs, he said. It will happen next year,” he added.

Glastuinbouw Nederland, a greenhouse industry group, said that among its 3 people, up to 40%, 000 Members are in financial trouble.

Even in sunny countries like Spain, fruit and vegetable growers are struggling to cope 60 % increase in fertilizer costs.

UK Growers Association chief executive Jack Ward says there will inevitably be a change in fruit and vegetable production to warmer

“We’re going to move production further and further south, through Spain, into Morocco and some parts of Africa,” Ward said.



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