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Cabbages, broccoli and onions: Europe the export leader

Cauliflowers and broccoli are traded for the same value and slightly more volume; onions are seeing a true export boom.

The European balance trade in cauliflower and broccoli rose quite a lot in terms of volume (+2.6% on average between imports and exports), but the traded value remained the same between 2013 and 2015.

The total amount of imports reached €489.16 billion for a total of 54,333 tons in 2015, while exports represented almost 33% more trade in both value and volume (70,342 tons for €601.6 billion).

The main European exporting countries within the EU are Spain (€238,325,417 in 2015) and France (€80,723,418). Cauliflowers and broccoli imported from the US saw an incredible drop from €2 million to almost none.

Cabbages recover value

The cabbage category suffered a much bigger downfall in terms of value than cauliflowers and broccoli in 2014. Although the balance of trade rose by 2%, the value of imports fell by 8% and exports went down by 4% in value.

In 2015, the value came back to its previous level and even went higher to a total of €950.45 billion for imports (+4% compared to 2013) and €1.1 billion for exports (+2.5% compared to 2013).

The main import partners are Spain (€360.7 billion), Germany (€211.7 billion), the Netherlands (€155.4 billion), Italy (€96.2 billion) and France (€91.9 billion).

Onions: European export boom

Onion exports recorded a sharp fall in 2013 from €788.55billion to €723.8 billion (-9%). It finally went up last year to €798.94 billion thanks to more acreage and production.

Exports remained difficult in 2015 due to the Russian ban and weak euro, but the currency is no longer a problem.

Intra-EU imports kept on falling over the last year. In 2014, they totalled 15,673 tons.

Worldwide consumption is rising, with prices being put under pressure and the onion trade suffering from a lack of supply.

This article was first published in edition 145 (Sep-Oct 2016) of Eurofresh Distribution magazine on page 102. Read more fresh produce news from that issue at:

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Tesco introduces cauliflower & mushroom ‘steaks’

Cauliflower steaks and portobello mushroom burgers are already very popular in trendy restaurants around the country and in recipes from celebrity chefs such as Jamie Oliver but this is the first time they’ve ever been available in high street supermarkets.

In a nod to vegetarians who feel an afterthought at BBQs, UK supermarket chain Tesco this week launched a new prepared vegetables BBQ range featuring cauliflower steaks and Portobello mushroom steaks.

The cauliflower steaks come with a zingy lemon and garlic drizzle, while the portobello mushrooms come with a peppercorn sauce. They are joined in the new line – items in which will cost £2 each – by Halloumi Kebabs and Mega Potato Wedges.

Tesco food developer Alison Stokes said the steaks will be a delicious option not only for vegetarians but also meat eaters.  

“Cauliflower steaks and portobello mushroom burgers are already very popular in trendy restaurants around the country and in recipes from celebrity chefs such as Jamie Oliver but this is the first time they’ve ever been available in high street supermarkets,” she said.

In a press release, Tesco said cauliflower has become one of the food trends of the past few years thanks to the huge trend for spiralising vegetables as a low carb alternative to rice and couscous. By cutting the cauliflower into steak sized chunks and pan frying it, an amazing meaty caramelised flavour develops, it said.

Portobello mushrooms are equally delicious and filling, as well as low in calories, fat-free, cholesterol-free and very low in sodium. “Adding mushrooms to vegetarian meals add a meaty texture, savory flavour and deliciousness,” Tesco said.

The launch comes at a time when demand for vegetarian food is on the rise. In the last year the supermarket has seen sales for chilled vegetarian ready meals soar by nearly 20%, it said.

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How Australia could sell more cucumber, cauliflower and other veg


Emphasise that vegetables like carrots and cucumbers make ideal raw, healthy snacks that can be eaten on the go.

And for other vegetables, highlight the benefits they bring to a meal – like the taste and nutrition of celery, or the variety that pumpkin adds.

These are among tips recently shared by the Australian horticultural body Ausveg, drawing on Nielsen Homescan data.

In a press release this month, Ausveg said Nielsen’s market research identified multi-million dollar opportunities for the Australian vegetable industry via areas with potential for growing vegetable consumption or that could benefit from better product positioning.

For instance, encouraging cucumber-buying households to buy cucumber as frequently as they did a year ago could achieve another (AUD) $4.8 million in sales value, Ausveg spokesperson Kurt Hermann said.

“In some instances, the industry could capitalise on already-increasing sales value – for example, we’ve seen an increase in the value of cauliflower sales on last year, and Nielsen have found an opportunity to gain a further $1.3 million in the senior couples demographic,” he said.

Read the release here.
Cucumber image: by Mgmoscatello (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons


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5 Ways to eat Cauliflower, from Spain’s 5 al día

Take advantage of cauliflower quickly and easily with these food ideas from Spain’s 5 al día featuring cauliflower as the main ingredient.

Take advantage of cauliflower quickly and easily with these suggested ways to prepare it.

The 5 ideas all feature cauliflower as the main ingredient and are from Spain’s 5 al día (5 a day) association, which promotes daily fruit and vegetable consumption.

Oven-baked cauliflower

Spinach & cauliflower salad

Cauliflower al Ajoarriero (with garlic, olive oil & pepper)

Cauliflower and cheese croquettes

Cauliflower pizza dough


The recipes are in Spanish but you can see them here.