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Crisis amongst Swedish tomato growers :

"Quarter of Swedish tomato greenhouse acreage to disappear"

According to a local newspaper, the Swedish greenhouse tomato industry is suffering in a hopeless situation. The 'cheap Dutch' tomatoes are a big pressure on the price of the domestic tomatoes and many growers can't keep their head above water. About 15 percent of the tomatoes sold in Swedish supermarkets are grown domestic.

In 2012, the acreage of greenhouse tomatoes in Sweden had a small lift for the first time in a decade, but the increase has now slowed and turned into decline. Today, many producers have serious problems and are considering to change direction or to quit their greenhouse operation according to the Swedish Agriculture Department .

According to Thomas Lilja, a greenhouse vegetable growers spokesperson, it is estimated that approximately 25 percent of the country's greenhouse acreage will disappear.

The problem lies largely in the fierce competition from imported tomatoes, primarily from Holland where overcapacity has led to prices that have periodically been below the cost of production. Next to this, a large proportion of imported tomatoes from Spain and Morocco contributes to the difficult situation.

Last year, Swedish growers produced around 14,500 tonnes of tomatoes. The Dutch produced more than 1.7 million tonnes. The total Swedish greenhouse acreage devoted to tomato production was 421,000 square meters. The Dutch grow on 49 million square meters..

Source: - Swedish Department of Agriculture

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