El Mehdi El Alami, Director of export promotion and development of Morocco FoodEx believes that Morocco is on a strong footing when it comes to its fresh fruit and vegetables offering. Here, he outlines why and explains how it is stepping up to the plate in the UK through its new FromMoroccoToUK food export campaign.
The UK has long been a major importer of fresh fruits and vegetables and for the last 40 years, its single largest trading partner has been Spain. Now, with the UK no longer part of the European Union, trade agreements between Morocco and the UK have opened up a completely new environment full of opportunities – a new range of Moroccan products specific to the needs of the UK market, direct commercial relationship between operators, new lines of logistics and a new competitive situation towards continental producers.
And that’s why Morocco has launched its first agricultural product export campaign in the UK, which builds on the existing longstanding relationship between the two countries to highlight these new opportunities and position Morocco as a reliable, credible trading alternative for fresh, sustainable produce.
While Moroccan fresh fruits and vegetables are nothing new to the fresh produce business in the UK – you can already find citrus, blueberries, tomatoes and more on supermarket shelves – over the last 10 years Morocco has tremendously modernized its agriculture and food industry through the Plan Maroc Vert (Green Morocco Program) which has been a unanimous success. It is this notion that enhances the new opportunities that come through the opening up of the UK market, post-Brexit.
By expanding out quotas of quantities – which, before now, were limited by our trade agreement with the EU – and the capacity of producing them in total compliance with the specificities of the UK market, Morocco has become a new big player in the international fresh produce market.
On top of that, a new sea route linking Tangier to Poole will allow the reduction of transport times from six to three days – guaranteeing the freshness of products and their availability on the shelves of British markets and supermarkets.
Competition is the name of the game
Fair competition is an advantage for customers – now they have the opportunity to choose between international producers without biases, because they benefit from the limited quotas granted to Moroccan products. Beyond the particularly competitive price, the Moroccan offer is above all a high-quality offer which meets the requirements of distributors and the British population, especially when it comes to sustainable production.
And the importance of sustainability cannot be taken lightly. Many of the UK’s big players in Moroccan food produce retail have already experienced the definite and undeniable improvement of the sustainability and reliability of Moroccan imports for many years. The UK public has a high opinion of Morocco as a Kingdom of tradition, culture and gastronomy.
But Morocco has also become a country of modern industry, fully engaged in globalization. The food export industry of Morocco, largely involved in sophisticated markets like the European market, is fully aware of the constraints of those markets in terms of quality, on-time deliveries, reliability, sustainability and social responsibilities.
With the MoroccoToUK campaign, our main purpose is to render the UK public opinion a true and up to date vision of the Moroccan food industry and the vast offering of fruits, vegetables, fish and other fresh produce, to show them that Morocco has the capacity to offer British customers high quality products which are available at fair prices.
We are convinced that we have high quality products that are not only compliant with the administrative rules of the UK but that also match the expectations of demanding customers. Our production capacity is improving year-on-year, our supply chain is reliable and transparent, and our prices are fair.
Now, thanks to Brexit, we have fewer entry barriers to contend with and have no doubt that Morocco is ready to compete in a fair and transparent way with other countries on the continent – making Morocco a credible, reliable trading alternative for UK businesses.
For more information:
Tel: +44 (0) 208 9965061