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 around two-thirds of the UK tomato production area.
British growers are planning to increase their production areas to replace imported produce with fresher, tastier tomato types. British growers utilise the best and most sustainable production techniques practised anywhere in the world requiring a high level of technical expertise to produce tastier, closer to market, 'local' grown British Tomatoes. Quality, freshness and flavour are our key points of difference.
Did You Know?
British Tomato growers use an army of over 100 million beneficial predatory bugs to help balance glasshouse ecosystems where pests are controlled by predators and so are present at a level below those causing economic damage and thus reducing, to virtually zero, the need to use any pesticides which if they are will be primarily biological in origin.