Ireland might be too dependent on imports for fruit and vegetable supply

Fruit and vegetable consumption plays an important role, not just in personal health, but in environmental health as well. Also, the production of fruit and vegetables plays a role in land use, water pollution and biodiversity. However, according to the Environmental Protection Agency's 2020 report, Ireland is falling behind on all of these environmental progress indicators.

In 2020, 890,000 tons of fruit and vegetables were imported. This represented a 42% increase in total fruit and vegetable imports compared to 1992. The largest proportion of imports comes from European countries, including Spain (an average of 10% of total imports, 2017-2021), the Netherlands (13%, 2017- 2021) and Great Britain (24%, 2017-2021).

Though Great Britain was previously the primary trade partner, imports of fruit and vegetables have reduced post-Brexit and Great Britain accounted for 14% of total fruit and vegetable imports in 2021. There has been little change in imports from Northern Ireland in the last 5 years (an average of 5% of total imports, 2017-2021). Fruit and vegetables are also imported from outside Europe, from a total of 205 territories across the world.

Source: rte.ie


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