When European countries export and import their fruit and vegetables, they mostly confine themselves to intra-EU trade due to logistical constraints (in particular for extra-fresh products) as well as strict phytosanitary regulations. Here, we take stock of a fluctuating market on the occasion of the Macfrut professional show, due to be held in Rimini (Italy) on 23–25 September.
Intra-EU trade. With the exception of European imports of citrus fruit, tropical fruit and apples from the Southern hemisphere during the off-season, the market for fresh fruits and vegetables remains, for the most part, intra-community. According to a document by Ubifrance, the EU exported 21.3 million tonnes of fruit and 22.9 million tonnes of vegetables in 2013, mostly within the European zone (more than 80% in value terms). See our interactive map of supplier searches performed in the field of fruit and vegetables.
Europe’s top 5 producers of fresh vegetables. According to figures published by Interfel, which comprises eleven French professional organisations for the production and distribution of fresh fruit and vegetables, Italy is the leading European producer of fresh vegetables, with some 11 million tonnes. It is followed by Spain (6.8 million tonnes), Poland (5.7 million tonnes), the Netherlands, France (3.5 million tonnes) and Germany. France’s main vegetable exports are tomatoes, cauliflowers and onions.
Processed products: worldwide growth anticipated. While the market for fresh fruit and vegetables is one that fluctuates to a certain extent, this is hardly the case with processed products, such as canned foodstuffs, fruit juices and frozen foods, which are better suited to export. A survey conducted by the Ibisworld market research organisation, entitled Global Fruit & Vegetables Processing (download survey) published in March 2015 anticipates a 3% growth rate by the year 2020, with revenues set to reach the 315 billion dollar mark. While, for the time being, most of the world’s production is concentrated in North America and Europe, China is expected to become an increasingly important player in this field. While China currently produces about half of the world’s vegetables and one-third of the world’s fruit, the majority of this production is unprocessed. To be sure, this fares well faced with increasing global consumer demand…