Energy costs will curb Finnish tomato and cucumber crops this winter

The high price of electricity is posing a challenge to the viability of Finnish commercial greenhouses, and according to the nation's Glasshouse Growers' Association, some entrepreneurs will at least temporarily suspend operations next winter due to the high price of electricity.

Some of the companies in the business have stable fixed-term electricity contracts, but others rely on power bought at volatile electricity exchange prices. If the electricity bills are really high, greenhouse farming will simply become unprofitable this winter.

"According to current information, the area under cultivation for tomatoes will be smaller than before, and the area will also decrease somewhat for cucumbers, lettuce, and herbs," says Niina Kangas, executive director of the Glasshouse Growers' Association.

For consumers, this will be reflected, at the very least, in lower than normal availability of domestically-grown cucumbers and tomatoes this coming winter. The greenhouses are not heated with electricity, but with biofuels, for example. However, vegetables still need light during the dark winter months, and lighting is dependent on electricity supplies.

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