Nearly 3,000 greengrocers have closed in the past decade, at a rate of five a week.

Data from HM Revenue & Customs revealed there were 6,916 registers greengrocers in April 1997 but 3,948 in April 2008, according to the Daily Telegraph.

The closures had been caused by the growing power of the supermarkets and the increasing costs of running an independent business, the paper claimed.