Spain accounted for about a third of the value of the UK’s fresh vegetable imports – mainly tomatoes, cauliflower and broccoli – and a fifth of its fruit imports – mainly citrus, grapes and strawberries – in 2015.
And the UK’s next biggest source for vegetables, with a 27% share, was the Netherlands, which mainly exports tomatoes and sweet peppers, while Ireland had a 6.4% share of the total value of the UK’s vegetable imports, mainly thanks to mushrooms.
A report by the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Office for National Statistics also shows that when it comes to fruit, South Africa accounted for 12% of the UK’s fruit imports in 2015, mainly grapes and apples.
The Netherlands, which principally exports pears and strawberries to the UK, came next with 6.1%.
Provisional figures place the value of the UK’s total fruit imports for 2015 at £3.1 billion, up 6.7% from £2.9 billion in 2014, and its vegetable imports at £2.1 billion, up 3.9% from £2 billion.