An Essex cucumber farmer must reduce crops due to rising energy costs

Store shelves that are empty

Despite a shortage of salad items in supermarkets, high energy costs have compelled one of the largest cucumber producers in the UK to reduce production.

The owner of Green Acre Salads in Roydon, Essex, Tony Montalbano, said he will grow fewer crops and begin later in the year.

Items like tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers have quotas at Asda, Morrisons, Aldi, and Tesco.

Trying to "find ways of saving money," Mr. Montalbano declared.

Tony Montalbano
Tony Montalbano, a grower, claimed that in order to reduce his winter energy costs, he had to reduce production.

The business is a major supplier of mini cucumbers to supermarkets in the United Kingdom.

For the second year in a row, Mr. Montalbano claimed that he had planted two seasons of crops rather than the customary three in order to avoid paying higher growing costs during the winter.

At this time of year, he said, "there would have been a full crop and harvesting three seasons ago.".

Empty glasshouse
Three years ago, cucumbers would be grown in Roydon's glasshouses during the winter. Currently, they are vacant.

Typically, the business would begin planting in late January. Planting will start this year in April.

The producer claimed he had to maintain his glasshouses at 21C (70F) in order to grow cucumbers and claimed that if he had grown his entire crop, his energy costs would have been "five times" higher.

Despite the fact that this would lower his expenses, according to Mr. Montalbano, he risked losing about a third of his revenue.

Mini cucumber
Popular as a snack food are mini cucumbers.

According to the UK government, severe weather in Europe and Africa was a major contributor to the shortages.

According to industry experts, high energy costs were also affecting the availability of produce grown in greenhouses in the UK and the Netherlands.

The shortages could last up to a month, according to Therese Coffey, the environment secretary.

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