Freshfel paper:

Impact of Brexit on the European fruit and vegetable industry

The European fruit and vegetable industry is severely concerned about the impact the ongoing Brexit negotiations could have on its intra-EU trade flows. Trade relations from the EU mainland to the U.K. have been well established for many years and benefited from smooth and seamless trade, thanks to Single Market provisions.

The trade between the EU-27 and the U.K. significantly contributes to the economic stability and growth of the EU, as the EU is a significant net-exporter to the U.K with a trade flow of 3.1 mln tonnes, worth € 4 billion, with a high dependence of the U.K. on fresh produce supplied from the EU mainland.

According to a recent Rabobank assessment on the impact of the Brexit on Food and Agribusiness in Europe, fruit and vegetables will be most affected by the potential changes Brexit may have in store. As the industry is still absorbing the effects of the Russian embargo and the loss of a market of more than 2 mln tonnes, experiencing new constraints on trade flows would be detrimental and could lead to additional price pressure given market sensitivity in the fresh produce sector.

A new Freshfel paper contains a first collection of challenges, which need to be taken into account, when discussing the post-divorce trading conditions. This first inventory should help to illustrate the multiple challenges the sector may face, once the divorce is concluded. It does not aim at completeness. Freshfel is eager to amend the paper in the upcoming months with potential solutions, to support the Task’s Force work, to negotiate the most favourable outcome for all stakeholders. In that regard, the paper is structured in the following way:
  • The European fruit and vegetable industry – A significant contributor to EU economic growth
  • The fruit and vegetable trade between EU-27 and U.K. – Current status and economic weight
  • Identified challenges and potential economic impact
  • General aspects and conclusions
  • Annexes with statistical data
Download the paper here.

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