End is nigh for British cucumber, warn growers

9 November 2015 - Janet Bird

End is nigh for British cucumber, warn growers

It may be a staple of the traditional English afternoon tea but British grown cucumbers could soon be a thing of the past, say producers.

The number of cucumbers produced has fallen to the lowest levels in almost a century, with the supermarket price wars forcing farmers to abandon the crop in favour of more lucrative alternatives such as strawberries.

The Cucumber Growers Association says less than 100 hectares of cucumbers are now being grown, with producers unable to compete with cheaper Dutch imports.

Supermarkets have slashed the price of cucumbers from almost 90p to less than 30p in some cases. The price paid to growers has fallen from 28p a cucumber five years ago to 22p. With each cucumber costing up to 20p to produce, the slim profit margins are forcing farmers out of the business.

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