Brexit: What a No Deal Might Mean For Fruit & Veg

ferry wake

Whilst we source as much of our fruit and vegetables from within the Southwest and UK as possible, we’re not immune to the knock-on effects of Brexit. From January 1st 2021, Britain’s relationship with the European Union changes as the Brexit transition period comes to an end. If we leave with no deal and resort to trading on WTO terms there is likely to be significant disruption to the flow of goods to and from Europe, including fresh fruit and vegetables, as lorries are subject to increased customs checks and paperwork. Here’s how it might impact the contents of your Fruutbox (hopefully only temporarily), and what we’re doing to minimise the disruption.

Items that are currently coming from the EU:

  • Conference pears from Belgium
  • Red grapes from Spain
  • Broccoli from Spain
  • Satsumas from Spain
  • Lemons from Spain
  • Celery from Spain
  • Cherry vine tomatoes from Spain & Holland
  • Butternut squash from Portugal & Spain
  • Cucumbers from Holland & Spain
  • Peppers from Holland & Spain
  • Courgettes from Spain


Whilst we are currently sourcing some of the items above from here in the UK as well as the EU, the availability and cost of those items will be affected in the event of no deal. It will also have knock-on implications for other products. A lack of Spanish broccoli coming into the UK for example will lead to an increase in consumption of other UK grown alternatives such as cauliflower or kale, thus increasing their cost and reducing their availability. The laws of supply & demand will very much take effect!

There are also tariffs to take into account for all products that are imported from the EU. Satsumas for example will be subject to a 16% duty tariff, and butternut squash 12%. EU products will become much more expensive overnight even if the goods were to somehow keep flowing freely.

As with almost every British fresh produce retailer (and certainly every supermarket), most of our boxes will therefore be affected one way or another if the UK & EU were to go into 2021 with no deal. As much as that all sounds like doom and gloom, all it really means is that we’ll have to get a bit creative and make some changes to our set box contents in the new year, temporarily at least. We hope that you’ll understand. Our veg boxes will be the least affected, with most of the contents being grown in the Southwest or British, and a lot of the fruit is or will soon be non-EU sea freight anyway as we’re in the winter/southern hemisphere seasons for most produce.

We’ll still have FruutBoxes full of tasty fresh fruit & veg, but the contents might be subject to a few swaps and changes here and there as we all work through whatever happens.