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New players in organic agriculture

New players in organic agriculture
Source: IFOAM & FiBL

A report by the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL and IFOAM titled “The World of Organic Agriculture Statistics and Emerging Trends 2021” shows that India leads the way in terms of its growth in organic farming. In the top-10 countries, there are 3 from Europe: France, Spain, and, perhaps most notably, Hungary. Although in total land area, the share of organic farming in Hungary is not particularly high (6%, the figure for neighbouring Austria is 26.1%), the increase in area of 93,800 hectares is significant. The number of Hungarian enterprises engaged in organic agriculture had reached 5,600 in 2019. With a total area of 6884 ha, Hungary is the world’s 12th biggest organic fruit producer, with the main products being elderberries (20%), walnuts (more than 40%), pomes (15-20%), sea buckthorn, cherries and sour cherries.

 

 

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Sustained growth of Spain’s organic agriculture

Sustained growth of Spain’s organic agriculture © Eurofresh Distribution
© Eurofresh Distribution

 

Organic production in Spain totalled 2.355 million hectares in 2019, up 4.8% compared to 2018, according to data published by the country’s Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. Organic farming now accounts for 9.3% of Spanish agricultural area. The data confirms the trend of sustained growth and the consolidation of Spanish organic production, with an average annual increase in total organic area of ​​7.5% in the last five years. Spain remains the leading producer in the European Union by surface area and fourth in the world. “It is a magnificent fact that reflects the ecological commitment of our farmers and ranchers,” said Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Luis Planas.

Spain appears to be on the track to meet the objectives set in line with the ‘From farm to table’ and ‘Biodiversity’ strategies established by the European Commission. According to the data, half of the almost 2.4 million hectares is used for permanent pasture (+ 5.6%), a quarter for arable land crops (+1.5%) and the other quarter for crops permanent (+ 6%). The total number of operators has increased 6.4% to 47,108, with growth in all categories: primary producers (+5.9%), industrial establishments (+13%) and marketers (+24.8 %), among which retailers stand out with an increase of 37%. In Andalusia, the total number of operators reached 16,450 in 2019, of which 15,097 are producers.

In fruit and vegetable production, there has been an increase in organic area dedicated to tubers (+13%), legumes (+4.2%); fruit trees (+9%), banana trees (+25%), citrus (+19%) and berries (+10%). The area of ​​vineyards (+7%) and olive groves (+ 4.6%) also increased. 

The total number of official controls carried out in 2019 was 54,195 in the domestic market (+5.5% compared to 2018) and 3,114 in imports at the border (30% more than last year). In addition, the competent authorities of the autonomous communities have carried out 1,927 audits / supervisions to the public and private certifying entities.

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Italian packaging machinery sales top €8 billion

Italian packaging machinery sales top €8 billion

 

Italy’s automatic packaging machinery manufacturers are the only Italian capital goods producers to report growth in revenues in 2019 (+2.2%), thereby confirming the world leadership position of a niche mechanical engineering sector, which for the first time in its history has broken the €8 billion euro revenue barrier. The number of operating companies decreased in 2019 (down 2.4% to 616) as a result of the series of M&As underway in the sector, while the number of employees rose to 33,304 (+2.1%).

These results were revealed in the Ucima-MECS Research Department’s 8th Statistical Survey, unveiled at the annual meeting held today in Modena. Over these last eight years (2012-2019), packaging machinery manufacturers have seen an almost 50% increase in turnover (from 5.5 to €8.04 billion), 40% growth in exports (from €4.56 to €6.35 billion) and the creation of 7,000 new jobs.

Around 79% of the sector’s turnover was generated abroad, amounting to €6.35 billion, an increase of 2.3% compared to 2018. This export growth is half a percentage point higher than that of domestic Italian sales (+1.8% in 2019 to 1.69 billion euros). The European Union remains the main destination area for Italian packaging machinery and accounts for 37.5% of total turnover (€2.38 billion) including sales in Italy, followed in second place by Asia with a value of €1.4 billion and a 22.1% share, then North America in third place with €814 million (12.8%). With respect to 2018, non-EU Europe (€637 million; 10% of the total) has overtaken South America (€559 million; 8.8%), followed by Africa (€449 million; 7.1%) and Oceania (€107 million; 1.7%).

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Kashmir’s apple crop up 5%

Kashmir’s apple crop up 5%

 

Kashmir’s apple sector is expanding. The country’s 2019 apple crop is estimated at almost 2 million tons, according to data from the Department of Horticulture, published in The Kashmir Monitor. This represents an increase of 100,000 tons on the previous campaign.

Kashmir’s horticultural sector has recovered well from the devastating floods of 2014, when apple production was just 1.1 million tons. Director of Horticulture Aijaz Ahmad Bhat said the government incentives and the introduction of modern technology are the main reasons for achieving the feat: “Modern technology helped increase the production last year. Every piece of land now gives Rs 50,000 to 70,000 returns to a grower. This is motivating other people to take to apple farming. Motors, weeders and many machines are being provided to the growers at subsidised rates. We are even now providing subsidies to growers adopting high-density plantations.”

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Global citrus crop shrinks

640px-Citrus_fruits

The 2019/20 global citrus crop is down for all categories, except grapefruit. Orange production is down 11% to 47.5 million, due to weather-afflicted seasons in Brazil, the EU, Morocco and Egypt, with small increases in China and the US unable to compensate for these losses. The global mandarin crop is down 1% to 31.7 million tons, with drops in all major production regions, especially Turkey (-9%) except China.  The world’s lemon crop is estimated to be down 7% to 7.9 million tons, with Argentina (-11%), the EU (-13%), Turkey (-9%) and the US (16%) all suffering challenging seasons due to weather events. Mexico’s and South Africa’s lemon and lime production are both expected to be up. Lastly, grapefruit was the one citrus category that registered a larger crop in the 2019-20 campaign, with larger harvests in China, South Africa, Turkey and the US more than offsetting the 18% fall in the EU’s crop.

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China and EU experience contrasting apple crops

China and EU experience contrasting apple crops, credit: Calvados Tourisme (calvados-tourisme.com)
Credit: Calvados Tourisme (calvados-tourisme.com)

 

 

The global apple crop is expected to be at its lowest for eight years, down 9% to 68.7 million tons, according to FAS/USDA data. The slump is mainly due to China’s substantial weather-afflicted campaign, which more than offsets gains in the EU. China’s crop size is forecast to drop 25% to 31 million tons – nine-year low. The smaller output is set to lead to a fall in exports of around a third, to 880,000 tons, while imports are expected to rise 20% to 75,000, with the greatest increase constituted by shipments from New Zealand and the EU, which more than offset lower supplies from the US. Despite the ongoing trade war with China, which has resulted in a 50% retaliatory tariff, the US remains China’s top Northern Hemisphere. 

The EU apple crop looks very different from last year’s, and is set to rebound from last year’s weather-damaged campaign. Volumes are up 40% to 14 million tons. The higher supplies have spurred a massive increase in exports to Egypt and India, with total shipments reaching 1.2 million tons. Meanwhile, imports to the EU are projected to drop markedly.

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South Africa’s soft citrus crops defy expectations

South Africa’s soft citrus crops defy expectations, credit image: Alexandra Sautois, Eurofresh Distribution

South Africa’s 2019 soft citrus season presented a varied picture across the country’s diverse geography. The estimates of the major organisations (e.g. Citrus Marketing Forum) were realised, with exports amounting to 18.2 million 15kg cartons, according to data published by the CGA . However, the accuracy of the estimates appears to have been a fluke, as South Africa’s fourth largest production area, Sundays River, exported 31% more than the initial estimate, while the fifth biggest, Senwes, exported 42.6% less than had been forecast. The largest soft citrus region (Boland) exported 17% more than the estimate, and the second biggest region (Western Cape) shipped 14% more than had been projected. The Patensie region in the end exported 6% less than was expected.

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Record global peach and nectarine crop in 2019

Record global peach and nectarine crop in 2019

 

Global peach and nectarine harvest is expected to set a new record of 22.3 million tons in 2019 (+10%), as orchards in China, the EU, and the US recover from the weather-hit 2018 campaign, according to USDA data. The growth in supply is expected to boost imports and exports. 

China’s harvest production is estimated to break all records, reaching 15.0 million tons (+9.7), thanks to favourable growing conditions in the Shandong province. Accordingly, exports are set to rise almost 60% to 100,000 tons, driven by higher shipments to Vietnam. Imports are also set to rise (to 28,000 tons), with arrivals from Chile and Australia, the latter having recently signed a bilateral Free Trade Agreement with China.

US production is up almost 20% to 814,000 tons, thanks to excellent conditions during critical points of the season. The larger crop will raise exports to 75,000 tons (mainly to Mexico and Canada), while imports are expected to fall, due to lower shipments from Chile.

A large EU crop is expected, with output up 7% to 4.1 million tons. The increased supplies are expected to drive exports up by almost 30% to 200,000 tons, while lowering imports to 30,000 tons.

 

Source: USDA

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Slump in Spanish citrus crop

Slump in Spanish citrus crop

 

The first estimates for Spain’s 2019 citrus crop indicate a fall in volumes for all crops, according to data published by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. The country’s orange harvest is expected to be down 16.7% to 3.27 million tons, while the Satsuma crop is expected to plummet 29.2% to 145,400 tons. Lemon production is also estimated to be well down from last year’s level (but above the 2017 level), dropping  16.4% to 959,800 tons. 

 

Source: Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries

 

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Spanish production estimates indicate larger potato and apple crops

 

The overall Spanish potato crop is expected to be 11.3% larger this season, according to data published by the country’s Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. Mid-season volumes are up 10.5% from last season, while late varieties also increased by +8.5%.  As for onions, ”babosa” varieties are down 0.3%, while “grano” varieties are up 7.0%. Spain’s summer tomato production is up 13.3% (including fruit for processing). Meanwhile, Spain’s watermelon crop is up 10.9%, and carrots are up 1%, pumpkin (-3-3%), melon (-3.1%) and aubergine (-3%) are all down. As for other fruits, apple production is up 17.9%, while the pear will be 5.8% smaller.  The peach crop is relatively stable (+0.5%) in the latest estimate.

Source: Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries