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Buy local trend boosting Swedish cucumber production2 January marked the start of the Swedish greenhouse cucumber season, with the first harvest from Thomas Andersson in Nyhamnsläge.
"The volume is initially 40-50 tonnes per week and then rises during the second half of February. The volume is enough to cover domestic demand and around 90,000 cucumbers will be harvested for sale in Swedish stores," said Peter Horvath from Swedish Producer organisation, Svenska Odlarlaget.
"Cucumber demand usually falls during the Christmas and New Year holiday season, but it definitely picks up again as everyone try to lose the extra kilos gained from holiday eating."
Swedish greenhouse cucumber production has been increasing year by year, seeing substantial growth in the last 5 years. Starting in January, with 10 growers with heating systems, the season lasts year round, and finishes around the middle of December. By April/May the Svenska Odlarlaget works with around 35 growers.
"We are seeing huge growth as more and more Swedish consumers prefer having locally grown products over imports. I am confident that we have a good future ahead of us and that we will see more and more domestically produced products on Swedish shelves in the future," continued Peter.
Along with 'buy local', organic fruit and vegetables also continue to see growth, however, Peter said that price continues to stand in the way a bit for now.
"We are in a bit of a waiting game when it comes to organics, which has caused many growers to be cautious and leery of making the switch from conventional. There has been a lot of back and forth from EU members as to what is considered organic. The European Commission was supposed to come to a decision last year and now that decision has been pushed back a couple of years. Another factor making it more risky is that organic cucumber prices are around 2 to 2-1/2 times more expensive than conventional. Around 4% of our total production is organic, around 800 tons in a season, but despite difficulties, I still expect production to continue to increase."
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