Fruit and vegetable sales figures falling

Government called on to do more to promote fresh produce as sales figures take downward turn.

Industry figures are urging the Government to do more to promote fresh produce after statistics showed a fall in fruit and vegetables sales between 2010 and 2011.

The Fresh Produce Consortium described the figures as "disappointing", adding: "We are pressing the Government to support the industry by doing more to promote fresh produce as the ultimate value-for-money convenience food."

Sales of fruit and vegetables declined between 2007 and 2010, despite rising less in price than other food categories over the period.

Fresh fruit in particular struggled, declining by nearly 12 per cent in sales volume, although food price inflation meant that expenditure still rose by nearly six per cent. Apple sales dropped by 13 per cent, pears by four per cent and stone fruit by 19 per cent.

Overall, fresh fruit consumption reached a peak in 2006 and has since been in decline. According to Defra's Family Food report: "Fruit is seen as a luxury item that can be reduced when food prices rise."

Total consumption of vegetables showed a smaller drop of three per cent over the period, which combined with higher price inflation than for fruit translated into a rise in expenditure of 10 per cent.

However, there were sharp individual drops in sales of fresh greens and cabbages (both 15 per cent), turnips and swede (20 per cent), cauliflower (21 per cent) and fresh peas (25 per cent).

Industry view

"It's disappointing that we haven't got consumption up to five a day - that would be a huge boost for our industry. But the grower associations are out there getting coverage and it's likely that the figure would be lower without generic campaigns. We would be shirking our responsibility if we didn't continue to push them."

Tim Mudge, commercial manager, British Growers Association

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

What challenges and opportunities lie in store for tomato growers?

What challenges and opportunities lie in store for tomato growers?

The British Tomato Growers Association (TGA) conference today (21 September) heard a range of perspectives on what changes lie in store for the sector and how to anticipate them.

Buoyant demand for UK apples but frost and labour remain concerns

Buoyant demand for UK apples but frost and labour remain concerns

As the British apple season begins, English Apples & Pears (EAP) is warning that growers will feel the effects of both a late frost in spring and also constrained labour supply.

Tomorrow's tractors

Tomorrow's tractors

These machines have advanced rapidly over recent years but what does the future hold? Sally Drury looks ahead.

Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Professor Geoffrey Dixon

GreenGene International chair Geoff Dixon on the business of fresh produce production

Read Professor Geoffrey Dixon