A total of twenty-one Andalusian horticultural companies took part in a trade meeting with the main importers and distributors from the United States, Canada, United Arab Emirates and Qatar between 22 and 24 October, organised by the Council of Economy, Innovation, Science and Employment through Extenda, the Andalusian agency for foreign trade promotion.
The delegation consisted of agents such as the Produce Alliance, under which the main fruit and vegetable distributors from the United States are associated, and the Cournchesne Larose group, a leading Canadian importer, distributor and broker. Representing the Persian Gulf countries were NRT Group, an association of importers and distributors, and Kaf Groupdel, of the large business group Qatar National Import and Export.
Attendance by provinces
Almeria supplied the greatest number of companies to the meeting; these eight companies were Agroponiente Natural Produce, Alhóndiga La Unión, Caparros Nature, Novedades Tecnológicas Melimar, Frutas Hortisol, Grupo YES, Costa de Nijar and Vicasol. Seville was represented by five companies: EMB, Freshroyal, Huerta Camporico, Iberhanse and Primor Fruit.
A total of four firms were from Huelva (Grufesa, Bionest, Agromolinillo and Surexport Compañía Agraria), two from Cadiz (Don Frutero Andalucía and Royalcress), and Cordoba and Granada supplied one company each (La Abuela Carmen and Agrocastell respectively). The meeting was co-funded by the European Union and supported by Andalusia's FEDER Operative Program 2007/2013.
Andalusia, a world supplier
Andalusia's horticultural sector reached 2,931.6 million Euro in international sales during the first seven months of 2013, which accounts for 63.8% of all agro-food exports. From this, 2,556.8 million Euro correspond to fruits and vegetables; a figure 8.4% greater than in the same period of 2012.
Andalusia is also the sector's largest national exporter, with 35.5% of the total. Almeria, with 52.7% of the total, is the leading province and Germany (28.7% of the total) the number one destination.
By products, the most revenue was made from tomatoes (440.1 million Euro), followed by strawberries (387.9 million Euro), cucumbers and gherkins (194 million Euro), melons, watermelons and papayas (155.8 million Euro), raspberries and blackberries (110 million Euro) and citrus (108.8 million Euro.)
North America and the Persian Gulf: key destinations
According to data from Extenda, fruit sales to the United States still have room for growth, even after the 71.7% increase in trade during the first seven months of 2013 compared to the previous year, when there had already been a 51.3% growth compared to 2011. Sales to Canada also surpassed the 3.5 million Euro in 2012; a figure six times greater than that reached in 2011.
As for the UAE market, 1.5 million Euro in sales have been made during the first seven months of 2013; more than twice as much as during the same period last year (147.2% more). In 2012, sales had already increased by around 50.4%.