Nordic Greens, one of the largest tomato growers in both Denmark and Sweden, has announced that they will not grow any tomatoes during winter in their Sweden-based cultivation because of the skyrocketing electricity prices. "We have 5 hectares of lit cultivation," Mads Pedersen, CEO of the company, says. "And we had to take that out because electricity prices are just ridiculous. We wouldn't have been able to pay for the increased cost. That's why we decided to skip this cycle."
The company has around 160,000 square meters of greenhouses, of which 20,000 are equipped with LED lighting that is on 18 hours a day. Usually, between 30 and 40 tonnes of tomatoes are grown every week during the winter. For the first time in eight years, the company has chosen to cancel the seedlings that were to be planted in a few weeks.
"It hits us hard, really hard. It simply costs too much with the lighting, but it is still too early to say exactly how big a break it will be for us financially," says site manager Mindaugas Krasauskas. Mads remarks that if prices go down, they will start growing again. "But we usually would start another round in January. So, we'll see how things will be then."
According to Urdupoint, some 500 tonnes of tomatoes will disappear from store shelves this winter due to the suspension.