The European Fresh Produce Association, Freshfel, has published a position paper on the Impact of Brexit on the European fruit and vegetable industry.
It points out that the EU is a significant net exporter to the UK, with a trade flow of 3.1 million tonnes, worth €4 billion a year, with a high dependence of the UK on fresh produce supply from EU mainland. It also quotes recent research by Rabobank which suggests that, after animal protein, fresh produce will be the agricultural sector most affected by Brexit, a situation which will compound the recent loss of the €2 million tonne a year Russian market.
The top ten products supplied from Europe include tomatoes, onions, sweet peppers, cucumber, cauliflower, apples, pears, soft citrus, oranges and bananas, with the five largest suppliers being Spain, the Netherlands, France, Germany and Ireland. In contrasts, last year the UK exported just 310,000 tonnes of fresh produce, most of which went to Ireland, which is heavily depend on UK supply.
As with other industries, Freshfel also pointed to the effects of uncertainty, saying: ‘While acknowledging, that there might be a certain tariff & quota regime in place after the divorce, it is essential to define the new tariff regime at the earliest, to give operators calculation certainty after the 29th of March 2019 and to take potential cost increase into account.’
The full report can be found at http://freshfel.org/freshfel-position-paper-on-the-impact-of-brexit-on-the-eu-fruit-and-vegetable-industry/
Photo Credit: Freshfel