Sign up for our daily Newsletter and stay up to date with all the latest news!

Subscribe I am already a subscriber

You are using software which is blocking our advertisements (adblocker).

As we provide the news for free, we are relying on revenues from our banners. So please disable your adblocker and reload the page to continue using this site.

Click here for a guide on disabling your adblocker.

Sign up for our daily Newsletter and stay up to date with all the latest news!

Subscribe I am already a subscriber
Authorities’ actions lead to sharp decline in demand for local fruits and vegetables in Latvia

Latvians prefer imported fruits and vegetables over local produce

Demand for locally grown fruits and vegetables in Latvia has decreased by an average of 30% this year, according to Mārtiņš Trons, a board member of the farmers' association Zemnieku Saeima, citing a survey conducted among local vegetable, fruit, and berry producers.

The survey revealed a significant drop in the consumption of local produce, while supermarkets have seen a notable increase in the availability of imported products. Some producers reported that large quantities of Latvian-grown tomatoes and cucumbers have accumulated in warehouses because supermarket chains prefer to offer customers imported goods.

One of the arguments presented by the Ministry of Finance when raising the VAT rate on Latvian fruits, vegetables, and berries from 5% to 12% was to limit the influx of imported products. "Only now, as the season begins, it becomes clear that the goal has not been achieved; the opposite has happened," said Trons. Now, much cheaper imports are being sold in supermarkets at prices that local traders cannot match.

"Everyone is losing now. The consumer, because the variety of domestically produced goods in supermarkets has diminished. The producer is suffering significant losses. The country, because when purchasing imported products, the state receives at least three times less in taxes compared to products of the same volume and price equivalent produced in Latvia. Therefore, the decision to cancel the reduced VAT rate of 5% can be called short-sighted, as the current situation is a consequence of the inability to look beyond an Excel table and listen to the forecasts of agriculturalists," farmers stated.

Moreover, many Latvian producers, despite the VAT increase, did not raise the prices of their products. At the same time, supermarkets in Latvia are taking advantage of the situation by imposing substantial markups on food products.


Publication date: