"The latest data on Spanish fruit and vegetable exports show a further loss of competitiveness of our fruit and vegetable system and indicates the need for new markets," affirms Marco Salvi, national president of Fruitimprese, while commenting on the Fepex data (the Spanish exporters' association). Spain in 2018 exported products for the value of almost €13 billion (+1% compared to 2017) for the same volume (-1%).
The data collected by Fruitimprese in November 2018 regarding Italy indicate that in the first eleven months of last year, sales fell by 11.5% in volume and by 5.7% in value, reaching about €4.2 billion (€0.2 billion less compared to the statistics of 2017). The country is far from reaching the 2018 record of €5 billion and a balance of €1 billion.
"The meeting of the National Table which took place at the end of February proposed an agenda for the start of procedures for the national fruit cadastre. It represented an important and positive signal and as such we are grateful to the undersecretary Alessandra Pesce. However, we must proceed decisively, as there is a need to organize an additional meeting with the National Table on the topic of open plant protection dossiers that should be closed as soon as possible since we must recover the position we lost on the international markets ", adds Marco Salvi.
Marco Salvi, president of Fruitimprese
"We used to be leaders in the sales of specific products, whereas now we are facing great distress. An example is the production of apples, in which we were leaders but now, due to the Russian embargo, Poland's overproduction is putting us in a difficult position, The same goes for kiwifruits, as now we have to deal with the Greek production which is more competitive than ours due to lower production costs. We were also leaders in table grapes' production, but have been severely damaged by Spain as its investments in seedless varieties have significantly increased at the expense of the Italian and European markets. Last but not least, as far as pear production is concerned, we suffer the competition with the Netherlands and Belgium. Also in this latter case, it is due to the Russian embargo".
"Our irrefutable record in terms of quality and food safety cannot be put at risk: we must explore alternative destinations to sell our products outside the European borders. The last option on the open market for our pears and apples were the United States as far back as 2013. We cannot simply wait and watch while our competitors progress with the support of their national systems. There is one priority that we must address with the National Table: to end the negotiations with China for our national pears, followed by the apples".
"We must also initiate the talks with Vietnam, Thailand and Taiwan for our apples. There is no more time to waste - concludes Salvi - as there is an urge to protect cultivations, employment and products of the highest quality that represent the "Made in Italy" brand and the well-known Mediterranean diet, which have always characterized and distinguished our country and our products from the rest of the world."