British tomato production amounts to about 92,000 metric tonnes per year - about a fifth of the total volume of tomatoes sold in the country through the year, and up to a half in the summer.
We import over 400,000 tonnes of fresh tomatoes (as opposed to processed tomato products) each year.
Total consumption of fresh tomatoes is around 500,000 tonnes and rising. In the UK, we eat 6oz (160g) of fresh tomatoes per person per week. This is the equivalent of two classic British tomatoes per week, or more than 100 per year - very low compared with other European countries, especially those in the Mediterranean region.
The retail value of British tomato production, allowing for most of the area now being speciality types, is around £190 million out of a total retail market value of £740 million.
Premium tomatoes, such as tomatoes on the vine, are driving growth in the market. Vine tomatoes now account for half of the UK tomato production area.
The strength of the pound has increased the flow of cheap foreign imports with major suppliers being Spain and the Canary Islands, Holland, Morocco, Poland, Italy, Belgium, and Israel.
Did You Know?
2.5 million British native bumblebees pollinate all the tomato crops in the UK. That’s 24 billion wing beats per minute in British tomato greenhouses.