Where one might expect Sweden to be very active in terms of importing produce for the holidays, the market is actually surprisingly quiet at the moment, according to Henrik Petersson of Hembergs. Although regular produce is still being brought into the country, Sweden is actually still producing fruit and veg themselves.
Swedish import company Hembergs supplies local wholesalers and restaurants with imported goods. Although the holidays are closing in rapidly, currently Sweden isn’t ordering a whole lot more than they normally would, says Henrik Petersson, who works for Hembergs: “We import directly from Spain and the market has been really quiet so far. We import clementines and oranges right now. We’re still harvesting carrots, in different colors, but we also grow beetroot and cabbage.”
Last year the volume of Swedish apples were smaller: “But now we still sell a lot of them, which means the Swedes would rather buy the product that is grown locally, rather than choosing for an imported apple.” The fact that their own apples are not organic, does not matter, Petersson says. “If I speak for myself, organic produce and environmental awareness are things that are important to me. However, I would still buy a Swedish apple over an organic Polish apple for instance. Especially since the prices are basically the same.”
So at the moment, Spain is really the main supplier of Sweden with their citrus. Although we’ve heard the Spanish growers are facing issues with the weather, this has not shown in the imported produce so far: “The quality of the imported produce from Spain is as good as we expected. We know they are having a hard time at the moment and it’s harder to get bigger sizes, but it’s not like the sizes are so small we can’t accept them. We do expect that the import market will pick up as New Year comes closer, as people will want to cook special dinners that require more fruit and veg. But we’re currently living in the quiet before the storm.”