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Arbomed symposium on how to strengthen fruit and vegetable xectors in the Med

As part of the 11th SIAM (Salon International de l’Agriculture au Maroc) in Meknes this year, the network Arbomed held a symposium on the theme "An observatory of production and markets, a key to strengthening the strategic sectors of fruit and vegetables in the Mediterranean ".

As part of the 2016 SIAM (Salon International de l’Agriculture au Maroc) in Meknes, the network Arbomed held a symposium on the theme “An observatory of production and markets, a key to strengthening the strategic sectors of fruit and vegetables in the Mediterranean “.

Led by Fert[1] and AREFLH[2], Arbomed includes key actors of the fruit-growing sector from 7 countries around the Mediterranean: Albania, Algeria, Spain, France, Italy, Morocco, and Tunisia.

The network aims to strengthen the dialogue between these actors, promoting the exchange of experiences and good practices.

Organised in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Fisheries of Morocco, FéDAM[3] and CIHEAM[4], the conference aimed to pursue a broader reflection on the strengthening of the fruit-growing sectors in the Mediterranean, notably through the observatory of production and markets as it has been implemented in the Arbomed network.

Highlights of discussions at the event were:

The arboriculture, a strategic sector for agriculture and rural development in the Mediterranean.
After a panorama of Moroccan arboriculture production by FéDAM, the CIHEAM’s presentations focused on the strategic importance of the horticultural sector in the Mediterranean, and more broadly the role of agriculture and partnerships to deal with Mediterranean issues.

Types of partnerships and the kind of concerted actions needed to meet the sector’s challenges
Speakers presented examples of partnerships that promote greater collaboration between stakeholders in the fruit sector.
The AREFLH presented and described the operation of the observatory of production and markets set up by the Arbomed network.

Round Table “A Mediterranean cooperation supporting national strategies”:
Each country presented its policy to support the fruit and vegetable sector by emphasizing the importance of addressing together a number of issues, including that of the market and its trends.

This event has demonstrated the need to set up a consultation tool such as the Observatory of production and markets, as a reflection tool for greater complementarity between countries, Arbomed said in a press release    

The symposium in Meknes was followed by a meeting of the Arbomed steering committee.

[1] Fert is a French association of international cooperation for agricultural development in developing and emerging countries. Accompanying farmers in creating organizations to enable them to provide sustainable solutions to the problems they face, its aim is to help create in those countries the conditions for farmers to improve their living conditions and work, and contribute to the food security in their country.

[2] AREFLH is the Assembly of European Regions producing fruits, vegetables and horticulture.

[3] The FéDAM is the Interprofessional Federation of Arboriculture in Morocco. Created in 2010, it brings together associations of the fruit-growing sector in Morocco. Its aim is, among others, to promote an innovative and responsible agriculture and defend the economical interests of the sector and to improve the image of its members and the profession nationally and internationally.

[4] CIHEAM: International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies. Founded in 1962, the International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies (CIHEAM) is an intergovernmental organisation composed of thirteen member states (Albania, Algeria, Egypt, France, Greece, Italy, Lebanon, Malta, Morocco, Portugal, Spain, Tunisia and Turkey).

CIHEAM is at the service of its member states to promote multilateral cooperation in the Mediterranean in the fields of agriculture, food, fishery and rural territories, aiming to respond to the needs of the States and of the agro-food actors.

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Linking the Mediterranean with Northern America

In February 2015, the Grimaldi Group shipping company launched a new direct maritime service between Civitavecchia and the North American Ports of Baltimore and Halifax for the transport of cars and other rolling cargo.

The Grimaldi Group shipping company began 2015 with big news: as of February it launched a new direct maritime service between Civitavecchia and the North American Ports of Baltimore and Halifax for the transport of cars and other rolling cargo. The new link is the first direct and regular service between the Mediterranean and North America for the ro-ro carrier sector.

And in Jamuary, Grimaldi had also strengthened the connection between Savona and Barcelona that has become a daily service thanks to deployment of the M/V Ro/Pax “Florencia” that has been added to the 4 “Eurocargo” units which already serve the line.

From 6th July, Grimaldi will launch a new standard service between Brindisi, Igoumenitsa and Corfu adding to the service already offered throughout the year between Brindisi, Igoumenitsa and Patras.

In February, Grimaldi Group improved the Brindisi-Greece service thanks to the employment of the M/V Euroferry Olympia and Euroferry Egnazia, able to carry up to 3,200 lm and with a cargo capacity of 200 ro-ro units and 600 passengers. The Ravenna–Greece direct link joined the already operational transhipment connection, thus increasing the number of departures from Ravenna to Igoumenitsa and Patras to 5 a week.

Due to changes in the market, the Grimaldi Group has also decided to meet demand from the market by modifying the previous Rostock-Helsinki itinerary and introducing the harbour of Hanko to the line. Indeed, as of January, there are now 2 connections from Rostock to Hanko and vice versa and 2 connections from Rostock to Helsinki and vice versa.

In order to face the big challenges of 2015, Finnlines, the company serving the Baltic market and of the Grimaldi Group, has decided to invest in eco-friendly technologies on which it is spending about €65 million. Grimaldi Group is a leader in the maritime transport of cars and all ro-ro vehicles with one of the biggest fleets in the world of roro/multipurpose vessels and car carriers.

The fleet today consists of more than 100 vessels. The vessels are ro-ro/multipurpose, Pure Car and Truck Carrier, Cruise Ferry and High Speed Ferries. The current maritime connections operated by the group serve more than 120 ports in 47 countries in the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, Western Africa, North and South America.

Nowadays the Motorways of the Sea Network in the Mediterranean and Baltic Seas alone is made up of 100 maritime lines operated by Grimaldi, Minoan, Finnlines and Malta Motorways of the Sea for the transport of cars, trailers, trucks and passengers. 


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The GCC grows as a consumer hub


The United Arab Emirates (UAE) alone comprises 200 different nationalities living harmoniously.

The UAE as a business hub of the East and West mainly depends on imports of most goods including fruit and vegetables. Major amounts of these are imported from India as well as from the USA, Australia and other countries.

A Dubai university study analysed the various stimuli influencing purchasers based on a model created by the authors, comprised 487 samples from various nationalities who gave their unbiased opinion and the data was collected from April 2011 to December 2012. 50% of the UAE population is from Asian countries of which the majority are Indians. The results indicated purchase patterns and retailer evaluation differed between open shelf and packaged and was labelled depending on culture, age, family status and demographic profile.

The survey was taken from the standpoint that there are no local citizens only global citizens and that Indian retail of fruits and vegetables has changed in the last couple of years, following the global pattern, with companies such as Reliance working alongside traditional markets. The results indicate consumer preference and expectations from retailers which will be highly significant to managers.

The increasing number of tourists and employees from multinational companies are a different segment for retail consideration. The traditional retailers will also have to compete at new levels to capture the market of the young, savvy, variety seeking and knowledgeable consumer with a time constraint. These recommendations will pave the way for importers and retailers to gain a competitive edge.


Read more news from the Mediterranean & Middle East here on pages 34-41 of edition 136 of Eurofresh Distribution magazine. 

Image: “Persian Gulf Arab States english” Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons  






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Jebal Al Atlas brings Mediterranean flavors


Specialists in Moroccan fresh and processed foods, Jebal Al Atlas chooses from the best origins in the Mediterranean. “Our priority selections are based on taste, food security and good shelf-life,” said managing director Driss Dehbi. “We are observing global growth in demand, both in the retail and food service or tourism sectors, with an increasing preference for quality.”
The company has increased its tomato range, with a full assortment of nine items: round, vine, plum, yellow, salad, cherry, kumato and mini-san marzano tomatoes. Spanish and Moroccan vegetables are offered year-round, transported by air or sea with a 14-day transit. “We aim to convey our diverse origins and promote their differences at the point of sale with tastings and brochures, because taste is what makes all the difference with consumers,” Driss explained. The same strategy is applied to citrus, with oranges and clementines offered all year with the same quality criteria. The main sources are Morocco and South Africa, with excellent value for price every season.