Vegetable production up in Poland, but with high prices and low consumption

A slight decrease in vegetable production in Europe and a slight increase in Poland. Retail prices for vegetables increased in Poland, and consumption went down.

Last year, in most EU countries (EU-27), 63 million tonnes of all vegetables were harvested, which is less than in the previous year (2021), when the harvest was 65.7 million tonnes. This was due to the unfavorable weather - a small amount of rainfall and heat in spring and summer. A significant decline in vegetable production occurred in such important European producers as Italy and Spain. In the same period, the production of vegetables in Poland slightly increased - from 5.6 million tons to 5.7 million tons.

Vegetables in Poland
In 2021, the total area of ​​vegetable cultivation in Poland amounted to 169,500ha. In 2022 it was only 163,000ha. The production of all vegetables was at the level of 5.3 million tonnes in 2021, and despite the smaller area in 2022, it amounted to 5.4 million tonnes. These figures are dominated by field vegetables, which last year were cultivated in an area of ​​157,800ha, and their harvest amounted to 3.85 million tonnes.

Vegetables under cover
Last year, vegetables under cover were cultivated in an area of ​​5,220ha. The harvest is estimated at 1.53 million tonnes. Tomatoes grown in 2022 on an area of ​​1,750ha had the largest share in these numbers. Their production is estimated at 700,000 tonnes, which is 7% more than in the previous year. In the case of cucumbers, 330,000 tonnes were collected from an area of ​​970ha last year, which is 8% more than in 2021.

Retail prices go up...
In 2022 (January to October), retail prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages increased by 14.1% compared to the same period of the previous year. The increase in retail prices of fresh and chilled vegetables in this period amounted to 9.8%. One of the vegetables that increased the most in retail trade were tomatoes (price increase by 18.8%), the prices of cucumbers increased slightly less (12.1%).

…consumption goes down
The increase in retail prices contributed to a decline in the consumption of vegetables, mushrooms, and their preserves. Based on data for the first quarter of 2022 - the consumption of vegetables, mushrooms, and their preserves was 7.2% lower at that time compared to the first quarter of 2021 and amounted to 12.36kg per person. Consumption of fresh and chilled vegetables (including mushrooms) decreased by 7.7% and reached 9.0kg per capita in the first quarter. In the case of fresh tomatoes, the decrease in consumption was 9.4%, and the popularity of cucumbers decreased by 4.8%.

Unfortunately, as a result of the increase in retail prices, also in the 2022/23 season, the consumption of horticultural products and their preserves will be lower than in the previous one. This will primarily concern consumers from households with relatively low incomes.

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