According to the fourth edition of Fruit Logistica's annual European Statistics Handbook 2021, which was released this Wednesday, the EU and the UK produced 93.69 million tons of fruits and vegetables in 2020 ( 42.70 million tons of fruits and 50.99 million tons of vegetables). Spain was, once again, the largest producer of fruit and vegetables in the European Union with 23.12 million tons.
Spain produced 13.20 million tons of fruit, a figure that places it at the forefront of Community production but that is lower than in the previous three years. In 2019, Spain produced 13.25 million tons of fruit, in 2018 it produced 14.24 million tons, and in 2017 it produced 13.30 million tons.
In 2020, the country produced 9.92 million tons of vegetables, in 2019 it produced 10.11 million, in 2018 it produced 9.86 million, and in 2017 it produced 9.75 million tons.
Italy was the second largest Community producer, with a total volume of 17.37 tons. It produced 10.41 million tons of fruits (10.31 million tons in 2019) and 6.88 million tons of vegetables (it was 6.89 million tons the year before).
Poland was the third-biggest producer of fruits (4.3 million tons) and France the third-biggest producer of vegetables (5.61 million tons).
Tomatoes and apples, the main European fruit and vegetable products
The main fruit and vegetable products grown in the EU last year were tomatoes for fresh produce and for the industry (16.35 million tons), apples (10.71 million tons), onions (6.19 million tons), oranges (6.17 million tons), carrots (5.18 million tons), and pumpkins (3.37 million tons).
In 2020, the EU trade balance was negative for fresh fruits and vegetables, especially due to the high volume of import of bananas (6.26 million tons), oranges (1.12 million tons), pineapple (912,000 tons), table grapes (675,000 tons), and avocado (657,000 tons) from non-EU countries.
The top 3 European horticultural export products in 2020 were onions (905,000 tons), apples (894,000 tons), and oranges (289,000 tons).
The report notes that the European fruit and vegetable sector faced three major problems last year: the weather, uncertainty about Brexit - which resulted in a last-minute deal - and the coronavirus pandemic.