Posted on

Spanish agriculture counts cost of Storm Gloria

Spanish agriculture counts cost of Storm Gloria, Credit: Emilio Morenatti, AccuWeather
© Emilio Morenatti, AccuWeather


Spanish producers are counting the cost of a deadly weather front that struck last week. Storm Gloria is reported to have wreaked the worst damage on citrus and vegetable production along the country’s eastern coast between Barcelona and Murcia, with losses estimated to run to €46 million.

Winds reaching over 110km per hour left a lot of fruit on the ground. Valencian agricultural association Ava-Asaja reported many farms still being under water days later, raising fears about the prospects for the second half of the campaign if conditions persist. Some flooded fields are expected to see whole crops wiped out. In recently planted potato and onions fields, farmers will be forced to replant. In terms of vegetables, cauliflower, broccoli, artichokes and lettuce are among the worst affected crops. 

One benefit of the heavy rains is that the region’s reservoirs have been replenished, easing water restrictions. The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food said in a statement on Wednesday that all production losses from Gloria would be covered by the National Agrarian Insurance Plan. This includes losses to next year’s harvest resulting from damage to farms.

Posted on

4th International Forum of Agricultural Robotics to feature demonstrations

4th International Forum of Agricultural Robotics to feature demonstrations


The fourth edition of the International Forum of Agricultural Robotics (FIRA) will be held in Toulouse (France) on 10-11 December, 2019. The event is organised by the Global Organization for Agricultural Robotics (GOFAR), in partnership with Meister Media Worldwide and its brands including PrecisionAg, CropLife, AgriBusiness Global, and Growing Produce. Since its first year, FIRA’s exhibition area has tripled, and the event will feature conferences, roundtables, and high-quality technical workshops. 15 robots will be presented and a first scientific symposium will be organised by Robagri. 

For the first time, 15 manufacturers of agricultural robots will be exhibiting. These robots perform agricultural tasks from helping with weed management to providing logistic support. The exhibiting manufacturers include: Naïo Technologies, Ecorobotix, Agrointelli, Vitibot, Tibot, Deepfield Robotics, Sony CSL, Rhoban System, Instar Robotics, Farmwise, SITIA, and Meropy.

The first day of conferences and roundtables will be more field-oriented.  There will also be a session on ethical and societal issues in agricultural robotics presented by Alexei Grinbaum (author and researcher at CEA-Saclay). Roundtables will discuss the global market for agricultural robotics per major region, as well as the issues of the standardisation of these autonomous machines in Europe and worldwide.

The second day will focus on facilitating meetings and exchanges between the players of the sector, with pitches and presentation of the robots on-site, followed by business appointments and opportunities for partnerships.

TAGS: FIRA, robotics, agriculture, event

Posted on

European producers mobilise to defend European Agriculture

European producers mobilise to defend European Agriculture

On Thursday 23 May 2019, FruitVegetablesEUROPE (EUCOFEL) met in Brussels with other European and national associations in the agricultural sector to discuss how to address concerns about the EU’s trade policy. At the meeting, the “Alliance for the Defence of European Agriculture” (ADEA) was formed.

The Alliance is pro-European and calls for support from the newly elected MEPs to defend and promote European farmers and products, and ensure a level-playing field in trade agreements with third countries.

FruitVegetablesEUROPE’s President, Juan Marín, said: “The Alliance wants greater determination from the EU institutions to insist that all imports of agri-food products meet exactly the same standards imposed on European producers.”

In addition to these food-safety requirements, there needs to be more focus on the environmental and social sustainability criteria when negotiating trade agreements with third countries.

The Alliance collectively demands that:

–                 European agriculture is not undermined in trade agreements with third countries;

–                 Imported products respect the same production standards as those imposed on European producers, both in conventional and organic farming;

–                 European consumers have access to transparent information regarding the differences between EU production models and those of third countries;

–                 European consumers understand and support the social and cultural aspects of the EU farming.

The Alliance is open to all sectors willing to defend the EU agriculture.

The founding members of the Alliance are:

  • FruitVegetablesEUROPE (EUCOFEL)
  • FEPEX – Spanish Federation of fruit and vegetables producers & exporters (Spain)
  • CGC – Spanish Citrus Management Committee (Spain)
  • APROA – Association of Producer Organisations of Fruit and Vegetables of Andalusia (Spain)
  • UGPBAN – French Banana sector (France)
  • ASPROCAN – Spanish Banana sector (Spain)
  • GESBA – Portuguese Banana sector (Portugal)   APEB – European Banana Association (EU)
  • ANPCA- Spanish Garlic producers and traders (Spain
  • KZGPOiW- Polish national Association of fruit and vegetables producer groups (Poland)
  • AOPn Tomato & Cucumber from France (France)
  • INCOFRUIT Hellas (Greece)
  • The Irish Cattle and Sheep Association (Ireland)
  • The European Sugar Manufacturer’s Association (EU)
  • The European Beet Growers (EU)