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First rail shipment of fresh produce sets off from Valencia to Denmark

First rail shipment of fresh produce sets off from Valencia to Denmark
Photo:Transfesa

The first container has been sent by rail from Valencia to Denmark. CoolRail, which transports fresh produce by train from Spain to key European markets in partnership with Transfesa Logistics and Euro Pool System, operated this first voyage as a test run, with a view to making this a regular route. The initiative is aimed at meeting the increasing demand from customers such as Co-op Trading, which supplies the main retail cooperatives in Scandinavia.

The main benefits of this new route are the competitive transit time of five days and savings of more than 70% in CO2 emissions compared to road transport. The return trip is also economically feasible because the returning train carries empty pallets belonging to Euro Pool System.

Transfesa Logistics’ key account manager, Pedro Ramos, said: “We have made great progress by consolidating CoolRail as the most sustainable and efficient distribution network for sending fresh products to the whole of Europe. Customers in Nordic countries are pleased to see rail transport at the heart of the supply chain”.

CoolRail, powered by Transfesa, has been transporting fresh produce between the south and northwest of Europe since 2019.

 

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Steady rise in fruit & veg imports in Nordic markets

Nordic countries import €1.74 billion in vegetables and €2.77 billion in fruit

Over the last 3 years, volumes have increased by 8% for vegetables and 5% for fruit.

Sweden and Norway are the top importers for both the fruit and vegetable categories.

Norway – €1.45 billion import market

In 2015, Norway imported 446,212 tons of vegetables with a value of €548.8 million and 543,311 tons of fresh fruit worth €904.7 million.

Norway is Scandinavia’s second biggest importer after Sweden and the steady growth in its fresh produce imports reached a peak last year. The most valuable fresh vegetable imports into Norway are tomatoes, worth €107.7 million, followed by cauliflower and cabbages at €54.8 million.

Most fresh vegetables in Norway come from Spain. In fruit, Norway is a big importer of citrus (129,628 tons) and apples and pears (111,038 tons). In 2015, 60% of Norway’s apples came from Italy.

In contrast to Sweden, supplied by the Netherlands, Norway imports more from Spain, with a total value of €92.9 million in 2014 and €116.9 million for fresh fruits. Dutch imports reached €74.94 million.

The number one partner in Scandinavia is Denmark, with €9.7 million of fresh produce traded.

Sweden – the leading Nordic fresh produce market

In 2015, Sweden imported 768,832 tons of fruit for a total value of €1.03 billion and 522,103 tons of fresh vegetables for a total value of €627.37 million.

Imports from European countries increased by 13.5% for vegetables and 18% for fruits on average. In 2015, Germany was the main supplier (€236.62 million), followed by Spain (€163.58 million).

The most popular imported vegetables in Sweden are tomatoes, with 89,135 tons, and potatoes, with 52,846 tons. Carrot volumes saw the most important rise (24%).

In the fruit category, citrus (144,751 tons), and apples and pears (112,439 tons) were the most traded with Sweden. Both represent almost 50% of the total volume of fruit imports. In 2015, the import trend is more focused on melons (+13%), bananas (+12%), apples and pears (+11%) and berries (+10%), while grapes decreased by 17%.

Denmark – sourcing more in the EU

In 2015, Denmark imported 440,498 tons of fruit for a total value of €657.8 million and 384,697 tons of fresh vegetables for a total value of nearly €357.6 million. Imports from European countries increased by 10% in volume, in contrast to imports from outside the EU, which dropped by 33%.

The most popular imported vegetables in Denmark are potatoes (€1.2 million in 2015), accounting for a third of the country’s total vegetable imports.

Denmark has supplied more tomatoes (+8%), cabbages (+8%), lettuce (+4%) and carrots (+13%).

Citrus is the top fruit import and import volumes have remained stable over the last 3 years (82, 529 tons in 2015). While banana import volumes fell by 9%, exotics and melons rose by 15% and 22% respectively from 2013 to 2015. 

Finland – addicted to fruit

Finnish imports of fresh produce are the lowest among Scandinavian countries. In 2015, Finland imported 339,060 tons of fruit for a total value of €432.5 million and 180,092 tons of vegetables for a total value of €241.16 million.

Some 96% of fresh produce imports come from European countries, although Finland is increasingly sourcing further afield for its exotics and bananas. In 2015, import values reached roughly €27.9 million from Germany, €72 million from Spain and €90.5 million from the Netherlands.

In 2015, Sweden was the top supplier for Finland (€17.3 million). Vegetable imports have fallen 4.5% over the last 3 years, while Finland has been sourcing more and more fruit, especially exotics: banana (+189%), dates, figs (+177%) and coconut (+21%).

In vegetables, potato imports have suffered considerably, with a fall of 46%, while onions and carrots dropped by 11% and 3% respectively.

SM