Posted on

Spanish lemon crop set to grow 10%

Spanish lemon crop set to grow 10%

 

Alimpo has projected a 10% larger Spanish lemon crop for the 2021/21 campaign. The total estimated volume of 1.25 million tons is subject to sufficient summer and autumn rainfall. Production of the Fino variety is predicted to climb 14% to 845,000 tons, with optimal sizes thanks to the good availability of water. The Verna lemon crop is expected to be down 2% to 300,000 tons. Alimpo expects the campaign to be profitable with a good and fair balance of prices and distribution of economic value throughout the chain to allow Spain to remain competitive against the supply of lemon from competing third countries such as Turkey and Egypt. A statement read: “Furthermore, GLOBALG.A.P. and GRASP certifications are key elements for the next season, within our strategy to differentiate Spanish lemons and promote sustainable economic, environmental and social production.”

Spain is the world’s leading exporter of fresh lemons and second biggest exporter of processed lemons. Revenues total about €700m each year.

 

Posted on

South Africa’s blueberry production continues to expand

South Africa’s blueberry production continues to expand

While the South African blueberry industry is relatively small compared to other local fruits, it is a fast-growing sector. Indeed, the area planted with blueberries is projected to increase by 17% in the 2020/21 campaign and reach 2,800 hectares, according to SABPA data. The country’s production area has grown at over 30% per annum over the past nine years, largely driven by continued investment by local blueberry growers and the entry of international growers, especially from Europe. The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) has also been a driving force in developing the berry sector by funding various projects across the country and encouraging the establishment of an association, the South African Berry Producers Association (SABPA).

The Western Cape Province is the leading blueberry producing area in South Africa, accounting for over 60% of production, followed by Limpopo (15%), North West (10%), Gauteng (8%), and Eastern Cape (4%). The three biggest producers are Berryworld, Haygrove and United Exports.

Posted on

India’s future as an organic powerhouse

India’s future as an organic powerhouse: Organic Area Farmland in India. Source: FiBL

India has great potential in the field of organic production. However, despite having 30% of the world’s certified organic producers, it accounts for just 3.3% (1.9 million hectares) of total organic cultivated area (57.8 million ha). The country’s organic food sector is expected to grow at 10% CAGR in the 2016-2021 period, and increase in value from US$386.32 million in 2015 to US$10.75 billion in 2025, according to APEDA data. The government has introduced various schemes to encourage organic farming in recent years, promoting exports from the north-eastern region and improved market linkages of producer clusters with agribusiness, phytochemical, organised retail and e-commerce operators.

Nevertheless, India’s organic agriculture faces multiple challenges, such as low yields, a reluctance of farmers to replace the use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides, and high logistics costs. These issues have led to higher prices for consumers, thereby reducing the potential market. There is also a serious problem with waste due to supply chain inefficiencies.

In 2018-19, India’s 1.9 million ha of organic area represented 1.1% of total agricultural land, an increase of 8.8% from 2017. The main certified organic production areas are Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh. Sikkim, in the north-east of India has declared itself the world’s first “organic state”, with every metre of its 76,000 hectares of farmland certified organic since 2015. The primary crops grown in the state are fruits (Sikkim mandarin, pear, guava and kiwi); spices (ginger, turmeric and cherry pepper), flowers (cymbidium orchids, anthurium and rose) and mushrooms.

During the current lockdown to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, India saw an unprecedented surge in retail sales of organic food products, due to the perceived benefits for immunity, overall food quality, and easy availability through online/e-commerce channels (Source: Pureecoindia).

Posted on

Record exports predicted for New Zealand apples 

Record exports predicted for New Zealand apples 

New Zealand’s 2019/20 apple crop is projected to increase by 2.8% to 593,000 tons (source: FAS/Wellington),  due to an expanded harvested area and a good growing season, despite the impact of COVID-19 on harvesting and packing. The larger crop is set to boost the country’s apple exports for 2019/2020, which are forecast to hit a record 400,000 tons, up 2.3% on 2018/2019. This continues a promising trend, as apple exports in 2018/2019 rose 5.8% from 2017/2018. 

This season, the volume of apples to be processed is expected to rise 5.7% to 119,400 tons due to the larger crop, as well as expectations for a reduced proportion of the crop being export-quality.   Domestic consumption of apples is expected to be up 0.6% to 74,000 tons.

Meanwhile, pear production was up 4.5% to 13,150 tons thanks to favourable growing conditions. Pear exports are forecast to remain unchanged at 4,000 tons.

Posted on

South Africa’s apple exports fall despite larger crop

South Africa’s apple exports fall despite larger crop

South Africa’s 2019/20 apple crop is projected to climb 5% to 942,200 tons (source: USDA). This growth is due to the increase in planted are, yields and available irrigation water. The impact of COVID-19 on this year’s crop is expected to be minimal as South Africa has already harvested most of its fruit and full operations continued during the national lock-down.  

Despite the larger crop, exports are expected to decrease by 2% to 480,000 tons. This is mainly due to the impact of COVID-19, which has resulted in depressed demand in global markets, interruptions in the supply chain, with bottlenecks or closures at some ports, limited availability of containers, constrained shipping capacity and the slow pace of exports to date.

The United Kingdom is the largest single country market for South African apple exports accounting for 13% of the total in 2019, followed by Nigeria (9%), Malaysia (8%), Bangladesh (8%), Zambia (7%), Kenya (4%) and Senegal (4%). Africa is the largest regional market, accounting for 46% of total South African apple exports in 2018/19, followed by Asia (25%), and the EU (19%). 

South Africa has a free trade agreement with the EU. The impact of Brexit on South African apple exports is expected to be minimal as South Africa continues to undertake extensive marketing of its apples in the United Kingdom, and the two governments are in the process of finalising trade arrangements post-Brexit.

 

Posted on

Colombia works to increase sustainable Hass avocado production

Colombia works to increase sustainable Hass avocado production

Colombian crops with international certifications—such as the Rainforest Alliance seal, which guarantees sustainable environmental and social practices—increased 315% in just one year.

In 2019, Colombia closed one of its best years as a global supplier of Hass avocados, with over 1,000 hectares bearing an international seal representing sustainable environmental and social practices.

In addition to increasing 2019 export sales to the United States and the European Union by 434% and 34% respectively, Colombia sent its first containers to Japan and is awaiting entry into the South Korean market and the first shipment to China.

“Internationalization has a positive effect on Colombian products because it promotes competitiveness and the adoption of best practices; the Hass avocado is one of the best examples. As a result of exporting, more companies now realize the importance of ensuring that their impact on communities and the environment is positive. This fruit in particular is one of the main products of focus in order to build a more sustainable country,” stated Flavia Santoro, president of ProColombia—the government agency that promotes non-mining and non-energy exports.

According to figures from NaturaCert—an organization that offers verification and certification services to ensure that sustainable Colombian agricultural products meet national and international standards—20,000 hectares of avocados were certified with the Rainforest Alliance seal worldwide in 2019, with Colombia showing one of the largest increases.

“Colombian Hass avocado certifications have been increasing at a very rapid rate,” stated NaturaCert Executive Director Sandra Restrepo. “This confirms that companies in this sector are increasingly committed to carrying out sustainable processes. The Rainforest Alliance certified 241 hectares in Colombia in 2018, and at the close of 2019, almost 1,000 hectares had been certified. Likewise, in 2019, GLOBALG.A.P. registered 73 Colombian farms, with 952 certified hectares in total,” she added.

Restrepo explained that there is great potential to increase sustainability certifications for avocados in the coming years, given the commitment shown by businesses as well as the demands of markets such as the United States and Europe regarding environmental and social sustainability, as well as food safety.

Moreover, Jorge Enrique Restrepo—the executive director of Corpohass, a union of Colombian Hass avocado producers and exporters—stated, “We have held several informational sessions about standards and certifications, such as GLOBALG.A.P. and the Rainforest Alliance, for producers in various Colombian departments. The aim of these sessions is to create awareness and transfer knowledge regarding the requirements demanded by the world’s leading markets.”

The Corpohass director added, “So far, almost 100% of Colombian avocado crops have been planted where forests have not existed for many years, expanding into pastures formerly used for raising and fattening cattle.”

The GLOBALG.A.P. certification refers to food safety and regulation of chemicals in the fruit.  On the other hand, the Rainforest Alliance seal considers staff recruitment, as well as social and environmental standards, assuring deforestation-free practices and no water or soil contamination. Parallelly, SMETA certifications focus on ethical business practices, while the SPRING seal focuses on sustainable water management.

Leonardo Ferrer Narváez, GLOBALG.A.P. Technical Key Account Manager for Colombia, stated, “There are currently about 700 avocado farms certified in GLOBALG.A.P., an increase of 30% from 2018 to 2019. This will surely continue to grow, because international markets such as Europe and the United States demand avocado production that includes sustainable practices and these certifications. In addition, Colombia’s fertile land requires few irrigation systems, and it has a small ecological footprint due to tree planting.”

Additionally, company representatives say that these certifications have become guarantees for accessing better markets. Among them is Ricardo Mejia Hernandez, general manager of Fruty Green SAS. His company was certified by GLOBALG.A.P. and the Rainforest Alliance for both its crops and packing facility in Antioquia and Risaralda.

“Apart from quality assurance, these certifications have become an important differentiating item, because they offer the possibility of selling avocados in more markets. In our case, we were able to enter very demanding supermarkets in England and Germany thanks to these certification seals. In addition, the benefits include producing cleaner fruit with more rigorous agrochemical regulations and heightened awareness about caring for the environment, including trees, bodies of water, and wildlife,” Mejia Hernandez explained.

Luis Guillermo Rangel—general manager of Agrícola Ocoa Colombia S.A.S., a company that receives Chilean foreign investment—stated, “Our crops in Antioquia have GLOBALG.A.P. and Rainforest Alliance certifications, which have been quite important in meeting the demands and standards of buyers from the United States and Germany. This gives us an advantage and ensures our compliance with safety, environmental, and labor protocols for our employees.” Rangel added that the certifications will assist them in reaching Japan, China, Argentina, and Canada.

A promising future

In 2019, Colombian avocado exports reached US $90 million, an increase of 42%, according to ProColombia’s analysis of National Department of Statistics figures. The main buyers were the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Spain, Belgium, the United States, and France.

Although Colombia is an emerging supplier just beginning to gain prominence in international markets, the country boasts several advantages.

A ProColombia study indicates that, in addition to companies who operate with environmental and social awareness, Colombia can offer avocados essentially year-round and has ample land—approximately 633,000 hectares—that is very well-suited for cultivating the green fruit.

 

Posted on

World orange crop slumps

World orange crop slumps, Source: USDA FAS

 

The world’s total orange production for the 2019/20 season is projected to drop 11% to 47.5 million tons due to unfavourable growing conditions in Brazil, Egypt, the European Union, and Morocco, according to USDA data.  As a result, consumption, fruit for processing, and fresh exports are also expected to plummet.

Brazil’s production is forecast to fall 22% to 15.1 million tons due to weather-related problems (warm temperatures and below-average rainfall after the first two blooms and fruit set). Oranges for processing are down 3.9 million tons to 10.4 million, while fresh orange consumption is lowered to 4.7 million tons, the lowest in 4 years. 

In contrast, China’s orange crop is estimated to climb slightly to 7.3 million due to favourable climatic conditions. Imports are up 3% as consumer demand is rising for premium, high-quality oranges.  Egypt and South Africa are the top suppliers to China, accounting for over 70% of imports.

US production is forecast to rise for the second consecutive year, albeit only by 1% to 4.9 million tons. Consumption, exports, and fruit for processing are all expected to be up in line with the larger crop.

Posted on

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

Posted on

World’s citrus crop hits record high

Global citrus production in 2018/19 is expected to hit a record high of 101.5 million tons. This represents a year-on-year increase of 9%. Oranges account for 53.4% of the total citrus crop,​​mandarins represent 31.5%, lemons and limes contribute 8.3%, and grapefruits account for 6.7%. Fresh citrus consumption is estimated at 73.2 million tons, while citrus for processing is forecast to reach 28 million tons (of which 83.8% is oranges). World citrus exports are expected to total 10.4 million tons, with the main contributor being oranges (45.6%), followed by mandarins (26.2%), lemons and limes (20.1%), and grapefruit (8.1%). 

Orange production by country

 

Source: FEPEX

Posted on

Chile’s kiwi crop down 10-15%

Chile’s kiwi crop down 10-15%

Official forecasts for Chile’s kiwi production indicate a drop of 10-15% from last season. However, as Carlos Cruzat, president of the Kiwi Committee of Chile, said, this season’s fruit has a greater dry matter and calibre than seen in previous years. Moreover, the committee will be undertaking marketing campaigns in India and the US, focused especially on the new generations of consumers, where this healthy fruit has the greatest potential.

By weeks 15-16 2019, Chilean kiwi exports had reached 27,868 tons, 6% lower than the same week of 2018. Of the total exported, 91% were of the Hayward variety, and the remaining volume consisted of Jintao 0.9%, Summer Kiwi 3.3%, Soreli 1.1%, Dori 2.4%, Green Light 0.6%, Kiss 0.2%, and Sweet Kiwi 0.4%.

The main target market for Chilean kiwis so far this season has been the Far East, with a 30% share of total exports, followed by North America with 23%, Latin America with 21%, Russia with 9% and Europe with 13%. Almost all markets recorded growth from the same date of 2018, with the exception of Europe, which registered a 58% drop, largely due to the high volumes of Italian and Greek fruit available in the market.