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The Swedish horticultural industry is complex and consists of holdings with a variety of orientations and challenges. Just like agriculture in general, the horticultural business has seen dramatic change during the past few years, with for instance a decreasing number of operators but cultivated areas that have barely changed in size. The difference is that the changes have proceeded in a faster and more dramatic fashion in the horticultural industry.
In order to create an overview of the structure and status of the Swedish horticultural industry, this report describes the composition and and development of this industry during the period 2002–2011, with regards to among other things the number of holdings, their size, employment, specialisation and crop type.
The Swedish horticultural businesses can hardly be considered an isolated part of agriculture. In 2011, close to 70 % of the horticultural holdings also carried out other agricultural operations, and these holdings exhibited cultivated areas more than twice as large as the average Swedish agricultural holding.
The number of horticultural holdings decreased by almost 40 % during the period 2002–2011. The decrease was most apparent within the greenhouse cultivation and among those mostly among cultivators of ornamental plants. For both open ground- and greenhouse holdings, the decreased number of holdings is evenly distributed among size classes except for the very largest holdings, which exhibited increased numbers. The largest holdings also appear to be more specialised and more work efficient than small holdings. The development of the horticultural industry differed markedly depending on for instance localisation, crop type, form of cultivation and specialisation.