Defra Statistics Fruit, Vegetables, Potatoes and Ornamentals 2022

Fruit - UK Production

Dry weather at the start of the year gave growers the ability to raise polytunnels for soft fruit earlier in the year and soil conditions were good for planting strawberries, raspberries and orchards. Though some damage to tunnels occurred with the Dudley, Eunice, and Franklin storms in February. Unusually hot days in March and April brought the season forward for both top and soft fruit crops but it left them vulnerable to the late frosts in April which caused some damage. Harvesting of all fruit crops started early due to the continuing effects of the mild spring and the summer heatwave.

The value of fruit production increased by 9.5% between 2021 and 2022 to just over £1 bn, with orchard fruit increasing by 31% to £377m and soft fruit decreasing by 0.3% to £633m.

Domestic production of fresh fruit as a percentage of total new supply increased from 15% to 17% in 2022.

Potatoes - UK Production

The value of potatoes was £705 million in 2022, a decrease of 5.8% from 2021 (£748 million) with the area planted reducing by 7.6% to 127 thousand hectares. Yields fell by 8.7% to 42t/ha and prices rose by 13% to £189 per tonne. Prices and yield information were previously obtained from the AHDB who stopped producing data midway through in 2021. For 2022 we have estimated yields based on input from sector representatives, devolved administrations and coverage of the sector in the farming press. For prices we made use of the Northern Ireland published potato price figures.

Vegetables - UK Production

The value of vegetable production increased by 4.8% to £1.8bn between 2021 and 2022, with total production decreasing by 5.8% at 2.4 million tonnes. Areas for vegetables reduced by 5% at 107 thousand ha. Domestic production as a percentage of total new supply to the UK for all fresh vegetables was 55% in 2022, down 2 percentage points from 2021.

January was particularly dry with optimal conditions for carrot, parsnip and onion drilling and planting. February was increasingly unsettled, with storms hitting some parts of the country, causing damage. The spring and summer were generally warmer than average and many areas experienced drought especially in the South and East with a new UK record temperature of 40.3oC recorded in July. The hot, dry summer presented challenges for growers, needing to irrigate crops far more than usual. The increasing costs of all inputs such as energy, diesel, fertiliser and plant protection products have squeezed grower profitability significantly.

Ornamentals - UK Production

The value of production in the ornamental sector decreased by 1.5% to £1.5bn between 2021 and 2022.

2022 was a challenging year for the hardy nursery stock (HNS) sector, due largely to the prolonged severe drought and heatwave that affected most of the UK for much of the summer and the increased cost-of-living that impacted discretionary spend and so demand, particularly in garden retail sector.

In 2022, hardy nursery stock showed a 1.8% decrease in value at an estimated £1.1 billion.

Container grown nursery stock sales returned to pre COVID-19 levels. Water shortages with the reducing consumer demand because of the drought conditions and increased cost-of-living further exacerbated matters, particularly in the latter part of the year.
Outdoor narcissi, ‘other bulb flowers’ and dry bulb production benefitted from better labour availability, good yield and an increased price per stem / dry bulb in 2022, contributing to increased unit value estimates for most categories. Flowers and bulbs showed a 29% increase in value at an estimated £165m.

The protected ornamentals sector (bedding and pot plants) saw adjustments where some growers reduced production across the board because of the rise in the cost of living and increased cost of materials (pots, growing media etc) which would increase retail prices. The pot plant sector saw a 12% decrease in value at £285m.

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Chapter 7: Crops - GOV.UK (