The Government of the Canary Islands and the Federation of Fruit and Vegetable Exporters (FEDEX) will set up a commission to address the impact of Brexit on the Canary tomato and cucumber sector. The decision has been taken within the framework of Fruit Logistica 2019.
The possible scenarios that the sector and the Government are taking into account are, on the one hand, a hard Brexit without a transition period, and on the other hand, a more orderly exit, which would make it possible to maintain certain advantages in marketing, despite the situation.
Another consequence of the United Kingdom being considered a third country as of April is that Canary producers may not be able to benefit from either the aid to marketing foreseen in the current POSEI program or the transport compensations.
The Councilor of Agriculture, Narvay Quintero, recalled that 50% of the tomato and cucumber volume exported by Canary producers goes to the British market and stressed the economic, social and historical importance of this subsector for the Islands.
"We have to work together with this sector to seek alternatives that will mitigate the damages derived from Brexit, as well as to request compensatory measures from the State and Europe that will help guarantee the future of these productions," he said.
For his part, the president of Fedex, José Juan Bonny, expressed his gratitude for the involvement of the Canary Executive in the search for solutions and alternatives to the uncertainty ahead, which has become a cause for great concern for exporters in the Archipelago.
In the 2017-2018 campaign, the Canary Islands exported 51,637 tons of tomatoes. Of these, 43.8% were shipped to the United Kingdom, 45.2% to the European continent (via the Netherlands and Scandinavia) and the remaining 10.89% to the Peninsula.
Meanwhile, cucumber exports amounted to 22,661 tons, with the production growing by 1,863 tons compared to the previous season). The total fruit and vegetable volume exported stood at 74,733 tons.