Is This The End Of Cucumbers?

#SaveOurCucumbers

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The biggest vegetable news this Monday is that the humble cucumber, a respected resident of sandwiches, gin and tonics and body moisturiser, is on the brink of extinction.

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With major supermarkets chains like Tesco, Aldi, Lidl and Asda all slashing prices for the Pimms-dwelling vegetable, there is a genuine fear that the cucumber will be no more.

The Cucumber Growers Association have reported that there are now fewer than 100 hectares of land dedicated to cucumbers, with many farmers either retiring or changing to more lucrative crops.

Cheaper imports, mainly from the Netherlands, are also to blame.

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The CGA told a National Farmers' Union report into the issue that there was little incentive for growers.

'Nobody in the supply chain is making anything from the production and sale of cucumbers. Without an increase in returns the British cucumber industry won't be endangered - it will be extinct.'

The average price paid to sellers for a stick of the salad stalwart has dropped to 28p, while production costs are around 20p.

Aldi and Lidl are currently charging just 39p and 29p respectively, which means that there's a lot of risk for farmers trying to make a profit.

One leading farmer who used to sell four million a year has retired, while another has chopped in his cucumber business and now has high hopes with a medicinal marijuana venture. 

Joe Cappalonga, who heads fruit and vegetable wholesaler G&C Produce, told The Guardian:

'I'm the third generation but I can't envisage a fourth generation the way things are going.'

RIP cucumbers? 

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