Although a shortage of Brussels sprouts from Great Britain

Switzerland imports vegetables from the UK. Although the proportion is minuscule, despite the supply crisis in Great Britain, vegetables from the island still end up in our stores.

These recordings and reports spread around the world. Recently, empty vegetable racks have been seen more and more often in British supermarkets – an image to which the Swiss, fortunately, are not very accustomed in this country.

Especially in winter, when local vegetables become scarce, Switzerland can count on a steady stream of imports. Vegetables also come to us from Great Britain, albeit a very small percentage: less than one percent of all vegetable imports come from the UK, however, over the past ten years there have always been about 700 tons of vegetables that have arrived in Switzerland.

Beans and Brussels sprouts from Great Britain

According to the Swiss-Impex platform of the Federal Office of Customs and Border Security, legumes are among the most frequently imported vegetables when it comes to vegetables – three-quarters of UK vegetable imports fall into this category. It is likely that it is mainly beans, because Great Britain is one of the largest producers of broad beans in the world. With a good amount of 30 tons per annum, a quantity calculated from the class of “carrots, turnips, beets, chutney, celery, radishes and edible roots” and finally about 20 tons of Brussels sprouts are imported annually from Great Britain.

When it comes to Brussels sprouts, Great Britain is one of the main developing countries in Europe, along with the Netherlands and France, and imports of Brussels sprouts have already shifted to Great Britain in recent years, says Christian Sum, director of the Swisscofel Association of Fruit, Vegetable and Potato Traders. “According to the statements of our members, vegetable producer and marketer Proveg AG, the import of Brussels sprouts begins in Holland and then goes to Great Britain – depending on how much is available in Holland,” adds Christian Sum.

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Imports declined due to a shortage of vegetables

Basically, the import from Great Britain is completely minimal. “Accordingly, Switzerland has no influence on the supply problem in Great Britain – in any case not because of the extremely small quantities,” explains the Swisscofel director. The vegetable shortage there is primarily linked to so-called greenhouse crops from Spain and North Africa – that is, vegetables and fruits that are produced in greenhouses – and is linked to difficult availability in these countries this year and to the fact that producers in Great House Britain are set to stop producing due to the high Sharp energy prices.

Indeed, UK vegetable shortages are also reflected in recent imports to Switzerland, which have been at an all-time low since November 2022 and have been less than a ton per month since then.

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