Greater health awareness to boost fresh produce consumption in Europe
Health awareness will benefit fruit and vegetable consumption, while changes in lifestyles and preferences will influence the wine sector. Climate change will continue to be a challenge for olive oil, but the use of resistant varieties should ensure viability. These are just some of the projections from the European Union Agricultural Outlook Report for 2021-31 published on December 9, 2021 by the European Commission.
By 2031, the EU’s production of fresh tomatoes should decrease by 0.4% annually and reach 6.3 million tons in 2031. This decrease is mainly due to the sharp fall in winter production in Spain and the change to tomatoes of smaller calibres, which have less volume but greater added value. Tomato production for processing will remain stable at around 10.4 million tonnes. The per capita consumption of fresh tomatoes in the EU is expected to remain stable at 15 kg in 2031. Similarly, the consumption of tomatoes for processing will also remain stable at 18 kg per capita in 2031.
The EU production of fresh peaches and nectarines is forecast to decline by 0.4% annually, to reach 2.9 million tonnes in 2031. This is due to the decrease in dedicated acreage. Peaches are losing share in the total fruit basket, leading to lower consumption of peaches and nectarines projected at 6.4 kg per capita.
Total EU usable apple production is expected to remain stable by 2031, at 11.1 million tons. This is the result of a decrease in the cultivated area offset by the increase in yields thanks to the use of new varieties and better agronomic management. EU consumption is projected at 7.6 million tonnes of apples consumed fresh and 3.6 million tonnes for processing in 2031. Consumption of fresh apples per capita is expected to increase to 15 kg (down 0.6 % by year).
As for oranges, EU production is expected to reach 6.5 million tons in 2031, an increase of 0.3% annually. Thanks to the consumption of freshly squeezed orange juices in supermarkets, cafes and restaurants, the consumption of fresh oranges is growing. Per capita consumption will reach 13.3 kg in 2031 (+0.5 kg per year).