Britain's vegetable industry could be under threat as farmers warn they're not being paid enough to grow stables, including tomatoes, due to soaring energy costs. Labor shortages are also affecting industry demand within the country, with retailers opting to import produce from abroad. Energy prices have affected tomatoes, in particular, due to the use of heated greenhouses.
Lea Valley, which stretches from Hertfordshire and Essex to north London, produced around 75 percent of Britain's cucumbers and peppers in 2020. The area – dubbed the 'cucumber capital of Britain' – could see production halved from its 2020 figures by next year.
Lea Valley Growers Association secretary Lee Stiles has stated there will be shortages of British produce next year "across the board", half of the group's 80 members opted against planting vegetables due to anticipated financial losses.