- International sales of fruits, vegetables and flowers reached 939 million euros in the first six months of the year. However, growth is not enough to offset rising costs and inflation.
- Portugal Fresh calls for new government measures to stop the escalation of costs and argues that those already adopted do not allow Portuguese producers to compete with Spain.
September 7, 2022 - Exports of fruits, vegetables and flowers reached 939 million euros in the first half, an increase of 16% compared to the same period of the previous year. Data compiled by Portugal Fresh – Association for the Promotion of Fruits, Vegetables and Flowers in Portugal reveal that, in volume, international sales also grew by 14% to almost 805 thousand tons.
Spain is the biggest buyer of Portuguese fruits, vegetables and flowers, accounting for 29% of the exported value. France (13,5%) and the Netherlands (13,5%), Germany (8,5%) and the United Kingdom (7,8%) follow. On the global stage, the European Union is the main market for the sector and represents 81% of the value of exports.
However, analyzing the price per kilo of exported products, the results show that growth is not enough to offset rising costs and inflation. The value per kilo in the first half increased by only 1,3%.
“These are record results that can only be maintained with the reinforcement of international promotion initiatives, investment in production and with a real appreciation of this sector, which is strategic for the economy. The indicators are positive, but we cannot forget that the agri-food sector is facing an unprecedented crisis with the rise in the costs of energy, fuel, fertilizers and other raw materials. At the same time, the extreme drought that has affected the country from North to South is currently harming the productivity and sizes of most fruits and vegetables”, says Gonçalo Santos Andrade, president of Portugal Fresh.
Portugal Fresh calls for a fairer distribution of the value of production in the agri-food chain, with better remuneration for producers. And he stresses that all the measures announced by the Government so far are small compared to those adopted in Spain, Portugal's biggest competitor in terms of production.
To overcome the effects of the drought that affects the entire national territory, it is also urgent to modernize hydro-agricultural uses and the creation of ponds and dams, vital to overcome the impacts of climate change.
“Portuguese products are in high demand on the international market and if we do not renew and modernize existing irrigation perimeters and create new ones, countries in southern Europe will take advantage of our lack of irrigation strategy”, warns Gonçalo Santos de Andrade.
Portugal Fresh has an ongoing Joint Internationalization Project 2022/2023 supported by Portugal 2020 – Competitiveness and Internationalization Operational Program. It provides for an overall investment of €948.900,85, 54% financed by the ERDF – European Regional Development Fund.
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