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Olle Olofsson, Odlarlaget

“Scandinavian countries ask for special tomatoes”

Own production of fruit and vegetables is small in volume in Scandinavian countries. The cultivators who produce also have small areas. Olle Olofsson from Odlarlaget explains this. Odlarlaget is a cooperative of fruit and vegetable growers in Sweden with over 100 associated producers. The company reached sales of nearly 50 million Euro last year.

Tomato import per month

“Sweden mostly grows strawberries, followed by carrots, herbs, cucumbers, apples, iceberg lettuce and tomatoes. Regarding tomatoes, the volume was 13,000 tonnes in total in 2015. The largest volume was for round tomatoes: 7,000 tonnes. The volume for vine tomatoes was 3,000 tonnes, and for cherry tomatoes 2,000 tonnes. We have a small share of specialties. Tomato production has been fairly stable since 2004.”

Consumption trends
Tomato is an important product in Scandinavian countries, people eat approximately 10 kilos per year per person. Demand for organic fresh produce is increasing in Scandinavian countries. In 2015 this demand even increased by 39 per cent. A portion of the growers choose to sell their products directly to consumers.

Olle Olofsson.

Import fresh produce
Scandinavian countries import fruits and vegetables worth billions of Swedish crowns annually. Scandinavian countries import tomatoes year-round. They import round tomatoes (20%), vine tomatoes (23%), cherry tomatoes (35%) and other varieties (22%). “A far smaller number of cucumbers is imported, we are nearly self-supporting with our own production in that regard,” says Olofsson. Important import countries are the Netherlands and Spain. There are several collaborations with Belgium.

Large retailers in Scandinavian countries are ICA, COOP, Axfood, Bergendahls, Netto and Lidl.

For more information:
Olle Olofsson
[email protected]
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