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AMPELOS 2017 Symposium in Santorini

The 4th International Symposium Ampelos 2017 focused on the “Mediterranean Vineyards and Climate Change” will be held in Santorini Island, at the Petros M. Nomikos Conference Center, 12-14 May 2017 Continue reading AMPELOS 2017 Symposium in Santorini

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Copa Cogeca welcome the report on labelling of alcoholic beverages published by Commission

Discovery wines lovers global trends in wine sector

On 13 March 2017, the Commission adopted a report to the European Parliament and the Council regarding the mandatory labelling of the list of ingredients and the nutrition declaration of alcoholic beverages. Copa and Cogeca welcomed in Brussels today the report published by the European Commission on the mandatory labelling of ingredients and the nutrition declaration of alcoholic beverages. Continue reading Copa Cogeca welcome the report on labelling of alcoholic beverages published by Commission

FRUIT LOGISTICA 2017 starts today, record participation in anniversary year

More than 3,000 companies from 86 countries exhibiting for the first time under one roof – Over 70,000 trade visitors from more than 130 countries expected – More than two billion tonnes of fruit and vegetables produced in 2016 ¬– Germany is official partner country -– The leading fresh produce trade fair celebrates its 25th anniversary

In its anniversary year, the leading industry event for the global fresh produce trade will attract some 3,100 exhibitors from 86 countries to Berlin from 8 to 10 February 2017.

Dr. Christian Göke, CEO of Messe Berlin GmbH: “FRUIT LOGISTICA was launched in 1993 in response to an industry demand and has seen impressive development ever since. We started the first year with 100 exhibitors. In 2017, for the first time, the number of exhibitors will top the 3,000 mark. As a leading global trade fair, FRUIT LOGISTICA is a don’t-miss event for players across the entire value chain. Not only does the trade fair offer outstanding business opportunities, it has also gained a solid reputation as a platform for information and innovations.”

More than 70,000 buyers and trade visitors from over 130 countries will once again have an opportunity to benefit from the widest variety of international exhibitors ever assembled under one roof.

Official partner country: Germany

In the anniversary year, the host country is, for the first time, also the partner country. It’s a well-known fact that Germany represents the largest consumer market in Europe. But there is also a growing demand for fresh produce exported Germany. This is due in part to the rigorously controlled quality of German products and the reliability of the country’s trading partners. At the same time, new markets are being developed and bilateral trade is promoted with the support of the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL). Organised by the German Association of Fruit and Vegetable Growers (BVEO), the joint exhibition stand in Hall 20 serves as the first stop for trade visitors from all over the world who are interested in German companies. Other German producers and companies in the value chain are located in the other FRUIT LOGISTICA halls. (Link to Virtual Market Place®).

Fresh produce market figures (worldwide, EU, Germany)

According to the latest figures published by the Agrarmarkt Informations-Gesellschaft mbh (AMI) in Bonn, around 1.23 billion tonnes of vegetables (excl. melons) and some 800 million tonnes of fruit (incl. melons) were produced worldwide in 2016. Nearly 10% of global fruit production and almost 4% of global vegetable production was sold fresh in cross-border trade.

The EU fruit harvest in 2016 reached 38.2 million tonnes, 3% less than in the previous year. The EU vegetable harvest in 2016 is expected to reach roughly 63.5 million tonnes, representing a slight 1% increase compared to the previous year

According to estimates by the AMI and the Federal Statistical Office, Germany’s fruit harvest in 2016 totalled around 1.32 million tonnes, roughly equivalent to the previous year. This figure is significantly lower than the record set in 2014, when the harvest was 1.49 million tonnes. As indicated by the AMI, the market production of vegetables in 2016 rose by more than 2% in Germany to 3.5 million tonnes. This growth is mainly due to an increase in land under cultivation. As in the previous year however, the harvests were slightly below average.

Fruit and vegetable consumption by German private households in 2016

The average German private household purchased 160.4 kilograms of fresh fruit and vegetables in 2016 (88.7 kg of fresh fruit, 71.7 kg of fresh vegetables).

While the most popular fruit varieties in Germany are apples, bananas and oranges, the most popular vegetable varieties include tomatoes, carrots and onions.

While private households in Germany only slightly increased their spending on food and beverages by about 1%, the increase in fruit and vegetables (including potatoes) was just under 6%. “This means that fruit and vegetables once again belong to the most important categories in the retail trade”, says Helmut Hübsch, a consumer research specialist from the Gesellschaft für Konsumforschung (GfK). In his view, the number of actual purchases deserves special attention. “Households purchase fruit and/or vegetables an average 86 times per year: 86 times in 52 calendar weeks means that households buy fruit, vegetables, or both more than once a week.

Well prepared for the future: the professional supporting programme

The supporting programme kicks off today with the new FRUITNET WORLD OF FRESH IDEAS, an event format that creates a multimedia experience and takes participants on an inspiring journey through the global value chain, and the FRUTIC Symposium, an international scientific conference. Staged for the first time in conjunction with FRUIT LOGISTICA, the symposium includes more than 50 scientific presentations and provides an ideal platform for sharing information between experts from the research community and the fresh produce sector. Four series of events taking place during the trade fair focus on current and future challenges in the industry. The Logistics Hub offers growers, exporters and retailers the information they need to reach the right logistical decisions for transporting their products. The FRUIT LOGISTICA Future Lab presents concepts that, in a few years, will enrich the fruit and vegetable sector with innovations aimed at significantly optimising the value chain. The Fresh Produce Forum focuses on the latest industry questions with viable answers provided by experts. The Tech Stage at FRUIT LOGISTICA 2017 focuses on the great importance of technical solutions for the industry.

An overview of all supporting programme events is available here.

Who will get the FRUIT LOGISTICA Innovation Award 2017?

“And the winner is …” The recipient of the FRUIT LOGISTICA Innovation Award (FLIA) will be announced in a special ceremony on 10 February 2017. Regarded as the most coveted innovation award in the fresh produce sector, the FLIA honours outstanding new products and services that add new drive to the industry. Ten candidates from numerous submissions have been selected by jury of experts. On the first two days of the fair, FRUIT LOGISTICA trade visitors will choose their favourites from the display in the passageway between Halls 20 and 21.

An overview of nominees for the FRUIT LOGISTICA Innovation Award 2017 is available here.

Strong participation from greek companies

Several export companies and cooperatives ftom Greece will participate in  FRUIT LOGISTICA 2017. Greek exhibitors will demonstrate their activities, occupying a total space of 182 square meters. Greek companies that will take place in this year’s exposition are the following:

Venus Growers

Α.S. Episkopis

A.S. Mesis

A.S.E.A. Artas

A.S.E.P.O.P. Naousa

A.S.O.P. Episkopis

E.A.S. Kavalas

FRESH FARM

NOVACERT

You can find more information about FRUIT LOGISTICA here

 

New record in EU agri-food exports in September 2016

The monthly value of EU agri-food exports in September 2016 reached a record value of almost €11.5 billion exceeding the export values in September of previous years by about €500 million, according to the latest EU agri-food trade monthly report . The highest increases in monthly values (September 2016 compared to September 2015) were recorded for exports to the USA and Japan, with notable increases also seen to other Asian destinations (South Korea, Vietnam, India, Hong Kong) Continue reading New record in EU agri-food exports in September 2016

Producer prices rise in cotton market as supply falls

International cotton prices are up 10-14% compared to the similar period a year ago, following an upward trend in recent months, as world stocks tighten, as a result of estimates for global production deficit in 2016/17. Cotlook A index prices rise 3,55 cents a pound this week, at 79 cents a pound. So, current index price is raised by 10 cents a pound compared to the same week of previous marketing years 2015/16 and 2014/15, according to International Cotton Council. New York futures climbed at 69 cents a pound, making an annual rise of 10%. It is noted that the international price of Cotlook A index currently stands at 79,10 cents per pound, equivalent after conversion and efficiency calculation of unginned (raw) cotton at 33%, to 0,53 euro per kilogram for Greek cotton producers.

Regarding the balance sheet of production, according to the latest estimates of the International Cotton Council, global production is expected to stand at 22,43 million tons in 2016/17. This year’s production is deficient, since the worldwide consumption is estimated at 23,78 million tons, resulting in a reduction of global stocks at 17,95 million tons from 19,31 million tons in 2015/16. It is noted that China still owns more than 50% of world cotton stocks, which at the end of the current marketing year are expected to fall to 9,58 million tons from 12,91 in 2014/15.

Olive-Clima project is entering successfully its final year of implementation

olive clima meeting in ministry of agriculture

The oLIVE-CLIMA project (LIFE 11 ENV/GR/942), is a five-year initiative that began in October 2012 and is entering its final year of implementation. Part-funded by the EU’s LIFE programme is developing and applying new olive crop management practices focused on climate change adaptation and mitigation. The project seeks to enhance the long-term storage of carbon dioxide in the soil by increasing the rate of organic matter build-up and to improve soil fertility, reducing the need for artificial fertilisers. Continue reading Olive-Clima project is entering successfully its final year of implementation

Milk prices in EU are rising, greek producers can’t benefit from it

greek milk production can't benefit from EU price rise

It seems that greek producers can’t take advantage of the latest positive developments in milk prices, as experts of the greek market have noted to Agrotypos. While prices in Italy and the Netherlands are rising lately, it seems that in the Greek market, the current situation is looking that a price stabilisation is more probable. As Mr. Athanasios Vasilekas, President of the Holstein Association of Greece said: “there is a positive development in European prices, nevertheless in Greece we remain under the psychological milestone of 38 cents per kg. Greek producers have also to tackle with high production costs, compared with other European milk producers. Futhermore, Mr. Christos Apostolopoulos, President of the Greek Dairy Industries Association thinks that the latest rice in european milk is a result of the supply reduction measures announced by the European Commision. Continue reading Milk prices in EU are rising, greek producers can’t benefit from it

Bayer’s commitment to innovation and sustainability will help shape the future of farming

Bayer held a global press conference in Leverkusen, on September, 7th 2016 . Agrotypos attended the important event. During the conference, the company placed emhpasis on the strong innovation pipeline that will help solve key agricultural challenges, confirming that 2.5 billion euros have been already earmarked for a capital expenditure program (2017-2020). Furthermore, Bayer  declared a strong commitment to sustainability, also supported by investments in Digital Farming, ForwardFarming and Smallholder Farming. Continue reading Bayer’s commitment to innovation and sustainability will help shape the future of farming

International cotton prices increase after stocks tighten

International cotton prices increase after reduced stocks

According to International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC) international cotton prices jumped to over 80 cents/lb in the second half of July 2016 from an average of 70 cents/lb for the rest of the season. Significantly lower crops in the five largest producing countries and higher than expected demand led to tighter stocks at the end of 2015/16, at which time world ending stocks were estimated to have fallen by 12% to 19.7 million tons. Continue reading International cotton prices increase after stocks tighten

Tunisia, a dynamic olive oil market and important competitor of Greece

Tunisia is the second olive oil exporter worldwide after the European Union. Depending on the crop year, it tends to take the third or fourth position in the ranking of global exporters, with the exception of the 2014/2015 crop year when it was first, having exported 304 000 t of olive oil, in particular to Spain, Italy, the United States, France and Portugal. Continue reading Tunisia, a dynamic olive oil market and important competitor of Greece

Copa – Cogeca: unemployment in EU will rise, if more crop protection products are removed from market

A new EU impact study published recently, reveals that if more crop protection products are removed from the market, quality food supplies will be put at risk and unemployment will rise, costing the economy billions of euros Continue reading Copa – Cogeca: unemployment in EU will rise, if more crop protection products are removed from market

Eurostat: Apples and tomatoes were the top fruit and vegetable produced in the EU in 2015

Greek and Italian apples dominate in Egypt

In the European Union (EU), just over 2.3 million hectares were devoted to the production of fruit and berries and a further 2.1 million hectares to the production of vegetables. With 636.000 hectares (or 27.1 % of the EU total) devoted to the production of fruit, Spain
was the leading EU Member State in terms of production area of fruit in 2015, while it was
Italy (420 000 hectares, or 20.2%) for vegetables. Greece had the 4th largest area with fruit crops (apples, peaches, cherries, strawberries) across EU and was ranked 3rd in peaches, 4th in tomato and cherry production. Continue reading Eurostat: Apples and tomatoes were the top fruit and vegetable produced in the EU in 2015

Brexit shocks Europe, questions raised over trade affairs and CAP budget

Friday, 24th of June will remain in history as the day after the unprecedented referendum that left Europe in confusion, as citizens of the UK have decided to exit the European Union (52% voted in favour of a “Brexit”). While stock markets all around the world reacted negatively, showing clear signs the negative speculation being spread across the european continent,  market and trade specialists expressed their concern over consequences of the latest developments. The Panhellenic Exporters Association (Greek association of exporting companies) issued an announcement on Friday, referring to the questions and “shadows” that are being cast this very moment, after the British poll. As far as CAP is concerned, some worry that the first to witness the negatice results of Brexit will be farmers of small nations within UK, such as Nothern Ireland or Wales. Then, there’s a question of the impact Brexit will have on the CAP from a budgetary point of view. Continue reading Brexit shocks Europe, questions raised over trade affairs and CAP budget

Eurostat: the countries with the highest food prices in Europe

Statistics from Eurostat measuring the price levels of food, beverages and tobacco show that the Nordic countries, Ireland and Luxembourg have the steepest food prices in Europe. Denmark had the highest price level for food and non-alcoholic beverages in the EU in 2015, at 145% of the EU average, followed by Sweden (124%), Austria (120%) and Ireland. On the other side, the lowest price levels were observed in Poland(63%),  Romania (64%), Bulgaria (70%) and Lithuania (78%). While Greece isn’t one of the most expensive or cheapest countries of the list, there are several categories where prices in the country surpass the average of the 28 member – states.  Continue reading Eurostat: the countries with the highest food prices in Europe

Greece is considering to appeal to the EU court to defend greek yogurt

the case of greek yogurt made in czech republic

Greece is considering its options in order to prevent the Czech republic from producing greek yogurt. As the European Commission recently stated the term “greek yogurt” describes a method of production and not the origin of the product, allowing thus Czech republic to start the procedure of making greek yogurt. The greek ministry of agriculture hosted a wide conference on Thusday in order to discuss and consider further steps in an attempt to maintain the exclusivity of greek yogurt. The meeting took place on the initiative of Greek Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Evangelos Apostolou and there was a wide participation by reprsesentatives of the greek dairy industries, as well as members of the legal advisors of the hellenic (greek) republic. Agrotypos talked with Mr. Christos Apostolopoulos, President of the Greek Dairy Industries Association about the outcome of the discussions that were held. Continue reading Greece is considering to appeal to the EU court to defend greek yogurt

Europech report: Italy and Greece dominate table and canning peach production in 2016

“Europech”is a report presenting an annual forecast about peach production in four European countries (Greece, Italy, Spain and France). According to the report, the forecast for the current year (2016) suggests that there will be reduction in table peaches production (-5%) as well as in cling peaches production (-2%) compared to the previous growing season. Furthermore, if we compare the production of the peaches this growing season in these four countries with the mean annual production of 2010/2014 the reduction increases to 20% for table peaches and to 17% for canning peaches. The respective reduction for nectarines is 7%. Italy is dominating the market of table peaches while Greece tops the list in canning peach production.

Continue reading Europech report: Italy and Greece dominate table and canning peach production in 2016

Interview with General Secretary of AREPO network, Mr. Laurent Gomez

Some days ago, Agrotypos spoke with Greek agronomist Mr. Piteris about the recent meeting of the AREPO network. During this meeting at Strasbourg, AREPO’s members, european regions and producers’ associations, declared their opposition to a “secret list” of Geographical Indication products (GIs), conducted by the European Union to be included in the negotiations taking place with USA in the TTIP trade deal framework. Agrotypos spoke with General Secretary of the Arepo Network, Mr. Laurent Gomez and asked him about the list, as well as other interesting matters concerning the AREPO network and european agri-food products. Continue reading Interview with General Secretary of AREPO network, Mr. Laurent Gomez

Cotton market: Exclusive interview with Executive Director of International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC)

For the news of world cotton market spoke in an exclusive interview at Agrotypos, Jose Sette, Executive Director of International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC). Referring to our country, he believes that Greece should strengthen even further the commercial links with Turkey and Egypt, while also improving relations with new suppliers, such as Bangladesh and Vietnam. He also mentions that although yield in Greek cotton cultivation is approximately 20% higher than the world average yield, steps should be taken to raise yields even higher, in order to promote the long-term profitability and competitiveness.

Concerning the international situation in cotton market, he said that “in the case of cotton consumption, the Chinese textile industry reached its peak in the period from 2007 to 2010, when China represented roughly 40% of world consumption” and cotton consumption is migrating to other countries in Asia and he adds that “the large inventories built up in preceding years are now starting to be absorbed, but stock levels are still high in relation to consumption”. Regarding the future of the cotton prices he said “The prospects for substantial price increases are low as long as these stocks are not absorbed”.

How has the cotton market been developed during the last years? Which are the main statistics of the cotton sector (production, imports, exports etc)?

In 2015/16, production is estimated at 22 million tons and consumption at 23.7 million tons. Exports are expected to reach 7.4 million tons. The most important development in the world cotton market in recent years has been the impact of the Chinese official reserve policy. This policy led China to accumulate substantial reserves and kept cotton prices above their long-term average. As a result, world production surged from 2010/11 to 2014/15 and exceeded consumption by 13.4 million tons. After the announcement of changes in Chinese cotton policy last year, production fell below consumption in 2015/16. The large inventories built up in preceding years are now starting to be absorbed, but stock levels are still high in relation to consumption. Stocks are expected to reach 20.4 million tons at the end of the 2015/16 season, a drop of about 1.7 million tons from the previous marketing year.

 Cotton production in China has declined during the last years and the Chinese government is selling cotton from its reserve. Do you believe that cotton production and consumption (textiles industries) is moving gradually to countries like Vietnam and Bangladesh?

Both cotton production and consumption are falling in China. With regard to production, government support is now focused on the province of Xinjiang and production is falling in other traditional cotton-growing areas. In the case of cotton consumption, the Chinese textile industry reached its peak in the period from 2007 to 2010, when China represented roughly 40% of world consumption. As a result mainly of rising labor costs, textile production is migrating to other countries in Asia, such as Bangladesh and Vietnam. China’s share of world cotton consumption has dropped to about 30%. These new consuming countries are not major cultivators of cotton, so they are a potential export market for cotton-producing countries such as Greece.

 Low cotton prices in 2014/15 discouraged farmers from planting. What do you expect regarding prices mid-term?

The world cotton market continues to face an oversupply of product. In 2014/15, the world stock-to-use ratio reached its highest level in the last seventy years, mainly as a result of the accumulation of high governmental stocks in China. Since then, production has dropped and the excess stocks have started to be consumed. Even so, stocks are still at high levels. The prospects for substantial price increases are low as long as these stocks are not absorbed.

 What percentage of world cotton production consists the organic cotton production? Is the cloth industry willing to increase the consumption of organic cotton?

According to the latest figures published by the organic movement, in 2013/14 (the latest year for which figures are available), production of organic cotton was 117,034 tons, representing less than 0.5% of the world total. Any increase in the use of organic cotton by the textile industry will depend heavily on changes in consumer demand.

 Are there any innovative techniques that are used in cotton cultivation?

The last major technological advance in cotton cultivation was the introduction of biotech cotton, which has helped yields to rise by roughly 33% in the last twenty years. However, in recent years the growth in yields has slowed. More research into new techniques and more efficient use of existing techniques is required.

 How important is Greece for the global cotton production and what do you suggest the Greek cotton growers to do?

In 2015/16, Greece produced 218,000 tons, which represents only 1% of world production. However, Greece is an important supplier to the textile industry in the region, such as Turkey and Egypt. Steps should be taken to strengthen even further the commercial links with these countries, while also improving relations with new suppliers, such as Bangladesh and Vietnam. In addition, yields in Greece are about 840 kg/hectare. Although this is approximately 20% higher than the world average yield, steps should be taken to raise yields even higher, in order to promote the long-term profitability and competitiveness of Greek cotton.

 

Noshan project: interview with project manager, Mrs Elisenda Casanelles

NOSHAN project will need further research to be implemented in the industry

Photo by Lisa Stevens / CC BY 4.0

NOSHAN is an ambitious research project funded by the EU that targets to create cheaper and eco – friendly fodder while improving the health of animals. Scientists in Belgium, Spain and other european countries have been conducting tests on animals, such as piglets with an experimental feed made up from olive oil waste and a mixture of soya and cereals. As Mrs Elisenda Casanelles, biologist and project manager of NOSHAN, explains to Agrotypos, further research needs to be done to implement all this process into the industry. Nevertheless, the concept of NOSHAN as well as its possible benefits make it something to be looking forward to. Below you can read the asnwers Mrs. Casanelles gave us in our exclusive interview. Continue reading Noshan project: interview with project manager, Mrs Elisenda Casanelles

TTIP negotiations: EU Commission’s list of GI products includes only 201 out of 1305 protected agricultural products

TTIP Negotiations

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is a big and very important deal, in the process of negotiation. At this stage, EU negotiating team arranges meetings with the US negotiators and exchanges proposals in order to prepare a draft text. When this text is finalised, it will be submitted to member – states’ goverments, as well as the european parliament in order to let them decide if they will accept the deal, which covers various sectors, such as environmental issues, animal welfare, labour rights or even internet privacy. Continue reading TTIP negotiations: EU Commission’s list of GI products includes only 201 out of 1305 protected agricultural products

General Secretary of World Processing Tomato Council (WPTC) in an exclusive interview at Agrotypos

For the news of international processing tomato sector spoke in an exclusive interview at Agrotypos, Sophie Colvine, the General Secretary of the World Processing Tomato Council (WPTC). For Greece the General Secretary recognizes that potential production remains strong, despite the significant reduction in cultivated area in previous years, if investments are made by both growers and processors. She also stresses the importance of cooperation between producers and processors to organize the production and improve technology and how this can be achieved through inter-professional organizations. Finally the General Secretary informed us that the next meeting of WPTC be held in Greece in June 2018, where they will celebrate the 20th anniversary. Regarding the future of processing tomato, “the current development that will bring advances to the production of tomatoes for processing are the optimization of all operations through modelisation, use of “big data” for collection of information by sensors and drones”, said the General Secretary of WPTC.

How has the processing tomato market been developed during the last years? Which are the main statistics of the processing tomato sector (production, imports, exports etc)?

The production and consumption of tomato products in the world has been increasing on average by 3% annually over the last two decades, from about 25 million tonnes in 1995, to 32 million tonnes in 2005 and 41 million tonnes in 2015. At the same time the global trade in tomato products has also increased, doubling in value between 2005 and 2013 and reaching 6.9 billion US dollars in 2014. While Italy remains the largest exporter of tomato products in the world with more than 1.2 million tonnes of canned tomatoes exported in 2015 (the second largest Spain only exporting 145 000 tonnes) and 656 000 tonnes of tomato paste, China is the largest exported of tomato paste with 990 000 tonnes, before the USA with 459 000 tonnes.

Which are the main trends regarding the cultivated area and production in the world? Spain has doubled its production during the last 3 seasons, while China’s production seems to reach a plateau after an explosive entrance in the world market for processing tomatoes. What do you expect mid term?

Although tomatoes are processed in a large number of countries around the world, the ten largest countries represent 87% of the total volume of 41.3 million tonnes processed in 2015. With 13 million tonnes processed in 2015, California is by far the biggest producer, with China (5.6 million tonnes) and Italy (5.4 million tonnes) jostling for the second position. These are followed by Spain which has indeed seen it production increase rapidly over the last few years to 3 million tonnes, as have Turkey (2.7 million tonnes) and Portugal (1.6 million tonnes). It is difficult to predict how the industry will evolve in the next few years as many factors are at play, and many of these such as exchange rates, custom duties or freight costs are out of the control of the industry. A few years ago, who would have predicted that the Chinese industry would scale down its production and close many new factories after growing so rapidly and being seen as a major threat by other processing countries?

Are there any innovative techniques that are used in processing tomato cultivation?

After the advances brought in by fertigation and irrigation management and modern hybrids in the last couple of decades, the current development that will bring advances to the production of tomatoes for processing are the optimization of all operations through modelisation, use of “big data” for collection of information by sensors and drones, …which enable to better target irrigation, fertilization and treatments to the fields and to schedule harvest.

California processing tomato growers currently produce many more tons per hectare than they have in the past. How they managed to increase the yield? Is the “California model” the example to follow?

Fields yields in California have gone from an average of 85 t/ha in the early 2000 to 110 t/ha now, and seem to continue to increase. The region benefits from excellent conditions for producing tomatoes with the availability of suitable land and near perfect weather conditions. Although these factors may not be transferred to another country, many of their production methods like the generalized use of targeted fertigation, use of new hybrid varieties adapted to the conditions, the professionalization of the growers, a strong network of researchers and farm advisers can be copied and help other regions to also further increase their yields.

 How important is the interaction between professional grower organizations and the processing industry in order to keep the sector viable for all parts involved?

Tomato processors and growers need each other and the industry can only be viable long term if a win-win balance is achieved so that both parties can run a profitable business. Cooperation between them is needed to organize the production and improve technology and this can be through inter-professional organizations such as the ones which have existed in France for many years or have recently been set-up in Italy or through good relationship between one factory and its growers.

Do you believe that there is potential to increase the world consumption of processed tomato?

Worldwide, the consumption of tomato products has grown at an estimated rate of 3.3% per year over the last eighteen years to reach about 39 million metric tonnes equivalent fresh tomatoes in 2014. Consumption in 2016 is estimated at about 40 million tonnes and the current production forecasts of 39.4 million tonnes means that the market should be balanced. While demography (larger population) plays some role in the increased consumption, it is encouraging to see that the main driver for growth is increased per capita consumption in most regions around the world. The average consumption per capita is now 5.4 kg/year when it was only 4 kg/year in 1996/97. While the consumption is more or less stable in high consuming developed countries like Western Europe and North America, where the consumption per capita is on average 22 kg/year, consumption is increasing at a rapid pace in Africa, Asia, South America and the Middle-East which now represent more than 50% of the total volumes consumed, against only 30% 15 years ago.

 How important is Greece for the global tomato production and what do you suggest the Greek tomato growers to do?

While the production in many countries has increased, Greece has seen is production decline, and it now processes about half a million tonnes of tomatoes when at its peak in the late 1990s it processed 1.2 million tonnes. It remains however one of the top 10 exporter of tomato paste with more than 50 000 tonnes exported annually. The reduction in the production is due to the closure of small companies and the concentration of the industry, although the agricultural potential remains here if investment are made by both growers and processors.

 Tell us a few things about the story and importance of the World Processing Tomato Council.

The World Processing Tomato Council (WPTC) was set-up at the initiative of the Mediterranean International Association of the Processing Tomato (AMITOM) in 1998 after several years of discussion, to provide a forum for everyone in the industry worldwide to meet, exchange ideas, promote the consumption of tomato products worldwide and lobby together the Codex Alimentarius for new standards for tomato products. Since then its members meet at least twice a year and every two years, organize the World Processing Tomato Congresses to give everyone associated with the industry, from seed breeder, growers, processors, marketers, equipment manufacturers, researchers, … the unique opportunity to meet and discuss all issues affecting the sector. It is unique as it combines a scientific symposium, where researchers working in universities and research centers around the world come and present their work, with the congress itself and a post-congress tour to get a closer insight in the local agricultural and industrial conditions. More than 400 participants took part in the congress held in Santiago (Chile) in March 2016 which was a great turnout for the first event of this type to be held in the growing market of South America. The next congress will take place in Greece in June 2018 and promises to attract even more participants keen to use this opportunity to discover an amazing country and its numerous islands. It will also be the perfect place to celebrate the 20th anniversary of WPTC.

LIFE11 ENV/GR/942 oLIVE-CLIMA meeting with the Greek Alternate Minister of Rural Development and Food Mr. Markos Mpolaris

olive clima meeting in ministry of agriculture

A meeting was held on April, 12 between LIFE11 ENV/GR/942 oLIVE-CLIMA “Introduction of new oLIVE crop management practices focused on CLIMAte change mitigation and adaptation” and the Alternate Minister of Rural Development and Food Mr. Markos Mpolaris at the premises of the Ministry in Athens. The meeting was requested by oLIVE CLIMA Coordinator ANATOLIKI s.a. Development Agency of Eastern Thessaloniki’s Local Authorities due to the interest that is shown by the Ministry of Rural Development and Food for the implementation of environmental friendly measures in agriculture in the context of the Programme for Rural Development for Greece 2014-2020 Continue reading LIFE11 ENV/GR/942 oLIVE-CLIMA meeting with the Greek Alternate Minister of Rural Development and Food Mr. Markos Mpolaris

A new, unified school scheme for milk, fruits and vegetables will start on 2017

unified fruit and vegetables scheme in european schools from 2017

A new school scheme was approved last Monday  (April, 11th )by Member states at the Agriculture Council meeting in Luxembourg. The new scheme will unify the two currently separate school schemes – the School Fruit Scheme and the School Milk Scheme, with an overall yearly budget of €250 million (milk products: €100 million; fruit and vegetables: €150 million). Continue reading A new, unified school scheme for milk, fruits and vegetables will start on 2017

Availability of land, access to credits and subsidies, among the biggest barriers for young farmers in the EU

Nearly 61% of EU young farmers consider the availability of land for purchase and 57% the availability of land for rent as the most difficult challenges they face, often due to issues such as land ownership laws, inheritance rules and land prices, according to a new report published by the European Commission this week. As the report states, access to credits and subsidies are also perceived as difficult by more than one third of young farmers Continue reading Availability of land, access to credits and subsidies, among the biggest barriers for young farmers in the EU

European Commission: 10% average price drop in oranges since March 2015, major price drop in Italy and Greece

Α constant drop in oranges’ average price in the EU is apparent in the European Commission’s monthly dashboards . Since March 2015, price drop in Greece and Spain exceeded the average price drop of member states in the EU. While the average price of oranges in the EU dropped by 11% over the last year, price drop in Italy was 26% and almost 16% in Greece. On the other side, Spain achieved a price rise 5,6% compared to last year’s average prices. Orange tree is the most cultivated citrus fruit in the European Union. It is also the most imported citrus fruit in the EU Continue reading European Commission: 10% average price drop in oranges since March 2015, major price drop in Italy and Greece

The tomato leaf miner causes major problem in some areas of Greece, while in others the problem is manageable

The tomato leaf miner

Last year, the pest commonly known as the tomato leaf miner (Tuta absoluta) caused major problem to both outdoor and greenhouse crops, in Preveza (northwestern Greece) and Ierapetra (southern Greece), while the problem was manageable in Amaliada and Kyparissia (western Greece). Agronomists and producers of those regions talked to Agrotypos about the problem they face because of this serious pest of tomato that has developed insecticide resistance and also has many generations per growing season. This season the problem is expected to intensify in Greece because of the mild winter, which induce excessive increased insect population. Continue reading The tomato leaf miner causes major problem in some areas of Greece, while in others the problem is manageable

CHERRY 2016: World Symposium in Naoussa, Greece, covering the whole spectrum of cherry cultivation

AgroTypos is Media Sponsor of the Symposium CHERRY 2016 that will take place in the city of Naoussa in Northern Greece on the 4-8 April 2016. It is about the Final Meeting of the COST Action FA1104 entitled “Sustainable production of high-quality cherries for the European market”. CHERRY 2016 is jointly organized by the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, the University of Thessaly and the Cyprus University of Technology, with support from the Greek Society for Horticultural Science and the municipality of Naoussa. Continue reading CHERRY 2016: World Symposium in Naoussa, Greece, covering the whole spectrum of cherry cultivation

Apply for the Data revolution seminar organized by the agricultural European Innovation Partnership (eip-agri)

Data revolution in the agri-food sector: Development of ICT and sensor based technologies, procedures and software have enormously increased the amount of data collected, and available, in agricultural sectors and through the whole supply chain (from farm to fork). The appearance and adoption of biosensors, nanotechnology, low-cost electronics, the Internet of Things or remote sensing devices, among others, will boost even further the data domain. This scenario offers significant potential for new data driven business models. Continue reading Apply for the Data revolution seminar organized by the agricultural European Innovation Partnership (eip-agri)

General Director of International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) in an exclusive interview at Agrotypos

For the news of international vine and wine sector spoke in an exclusive interview at Agrotypos, Jean Marie Aurand, the General Director of the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV). According to Mr. Jean Marie Aurand, world wine production is still increasing, while export value has reached EUR 26 billion. Concerning new plantations of vineyards, the area in Europe remains stable and there is an increase of plantations in Asia and particularly in China, which in 2014 took the second place in the world ranking of countries with the largest area of vineyards. Regarding the introduction of technology in viticulture, the Director General of OIV says that precision viticulture is spreading worldwide. In his statement for Greek winegrowers and winemakers, he outlines that they should produce products that meet consumer expectations. Continue reading General Director of International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) in an exclusive interview at Agrotypos

Possible Europe-wide withdrawal of glyphosate herbicide formulations by Member States

The danger that European growers would not have soon at their disposal many and widely used herbicides containing the active ingredient glyphosate is now visible. This emerged earlier this week when the Commission, following the procedures laid down by European legislation, presented its proposal for renewal of the approval of glyphosate (ending June 30). Representatives of certain Member States opposed to the European Commission’s proposal, despite the fact that there was a positive recommendation from the EFSA (European Authority for Food Safety) with the agreement of experts from all member countries. The matter was referred to the next meeting at which all Member States will express treir position. Continue reading Possible Europe-wide withdrawal of glyphosate herbicide formulations by Member States

Olive peacock spot causes severe problems in north and central Greece

Olive peacock spot causes severe problems

Over the last few years, farmers from north and central Greece have to deal with a persistent fungal plant pathogen called Spilocaea oleaginea. It is the cause of the olive peacock spot disease, also known as olive leaf spot and bird’s eye spot. Agrotypos contacted Mr. Anthonios Yfoulis, the officer of Quality Control Regional Center of Plant in north Greece, the agronomist Mr. Manolis Grivas and Mr. Fotis Glarakis the Chairman of the Agricultural Cooperatives Union of Chalkidiki. According to them green olives that come from varieties of Chondrolia in Chalkidiki, are sensitive to leaf spot and face very serious problem due to this fungus. Moreover, they reported as major causes of this olive tree disease the mild winter and high humidity of their region. Mr. Sotiris Manakis, the Agronomist of Agricultural Cooperative Union of Agrinio, noted that this region has been suffering for three years from the fungus and also mentioned ways to reduce this problem. Continue reading Olive peacock spot causes severe problems in north and central Greece

ISO: The EU sugar market outlook post 2017

The International Sugar Organization (ISO) presented to AgroTypos a study on the EU Sugar Market Post 2017. It is about an outlook for sugar production, imports and exports in the context of the 2017 Reform of the EU Sugar Regime. The study has shown that the future abolition of sugar and isoglucose production quotas as well as minimum beet prices from 2017/18 will possibly lead to higher production on the back of a more efficient and leaner industry and relatively profitable margins. This would lead to a reduction in imports of sugar from the EU and to an increase in exports. Continue reading ISO: The EU sugar market outlook post 2017

Olive oil in Brazil

Brazil is the fourth largest importer of olive oil in the world. It is notable that Brazilians use the olive oil only for their own consumption as they do not resell it to other countries. In 2015, because of the economic crisis and the significant devaluation of the “real” against the “US dollar” and the “euro”, the country’s olive oil imports fell by 23.2%. Chile, Turkey, Argentina and Greece recorded higher losses in olive oil exports to Brazil than the average, while only Tunisia’s exports increased because of the lowest price per kilo. On the other hand the top olive oil exporting countries in Brazil are Portugal (57%) and Spain (21%). Continue reading Olive oil in Brazil

Effect of feeding cows genetically modified maize on their health

A study, led by the French Professor Gilles-Eric Seralini from the University of Caen, examined the possible effect of the use of Genetically Modified (GM) feed on animal health by testing 70 cows. It is about the longest study ever made concerning this controversial issue. According to the Professor GM maize produces a new modified insecticide like all Bt plants do. Bt stands for Bacillus thuringiensis of which mutated insecticidal toxin gene is inserted in the modified maize. It is mentioned that GM Bt maize is cultivated in Spain and a thorough study shows that it is most probably toxic to cows over the long term and could cause problems related to kidneys and mammary gland break. Continue reading Effect of feeding cows genetically modified maize on their health

Olive oil prices are maintained at high level in EU

Olive oil prices

At this period the olive oil prices in EU are maintained at high levels. According to the International Olive Council (IOC) in Spain the prices for extra virgin olive oil had been around 3.05 euros/kg during the last week of December 2015 (similar with the corresponding prices of December 2014). The same period in Italy the olive oil price was 3.34 euro/kg, while in Tunisia was 3.08 euros/kg. In Greece, producer prices for extra virgin olive oil reached in Laconia of Peloponnese 4 euros/kg, followed by Messenia of Peloponnese with the price of 3.20 euros/kg (for PDO is 20 cents higher). In Crete (southern Greece) the price stabilized at 3 euros/kg, while in Lesvos at 2.85 euros. Continue reading Olive oil prices are maintained at high level in EU

EU: the closing of the pigmeat private storage aid scheme

closing of the pigmeat private storage aid scheme

Photo by Nick Saltmarsh / CC BY 4.0

The closing of the pigmeat Private Storage Aid Scheme (PSA) took place following the relevant EU Commission decision taken on 27th January 2016. According to the decision the private storage scheme for pigmeat operated for three weeks and the decision of termination was taken because the planned volumes of products were reached. Continue reading EU: the closing of the pigmeat private storage aid scheme

Commissioner Hogan in Strasbourg presented simplification measures of penalty system for direct payments

hogan_declarations_payments

Photo by Olgierd Rudak / CC BY 4.0

Simplification measures of penalty system in the case of incorrect declarations for direct payments were presented by the European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Mr. Phil Hogan in Strasbourg. Mr. Hogan listed the latest measures which would “eliminate the climate of fear” prevailing with the current penalty point system. According to him the simplification package consists of three complementary elements a) preliminary checks of aid applications b) simplified system of administrative penalties for direct payments c) a ”yellow card” system for first offenders. Continue reading Commissioner Hogan in Strasbourg presented simplification measures of penalty system for direct payments

Yogurt UK market at a glance

For the period of January-November 2015, Greek yogurt exports to the United Kingdom amounted 28.76 million pounds up 24.35% from the same period of the previous year. This fact ranks Greece second after France in yogurt supplies to the UK. In total, Greek white yogurt exports to the UK accounted for 90% in the period 2011-2014. Moreover, other categories of yogurt products with fruits or nuts steadily raised their market share from 5.37% in 2011 to 13.01% in 2014 and 16.25% in the first eleven months of 2015, with the value of exports soaring from 721 thousands pounds in 2011 to 4.0 million pounds (1 euro = 0.77 pound). Continue reading Yogurt UK market at a glance

The taxation of agriculture in the EU

taxation of agriculture in the EU

Several countries of southern EU (Spain, Portugal) and the former Eastern bloc (Poland, Romania, Hungary) have special preferential tax regime for agricultural incomes. According to an article of the journal Agriculture crop and Animal husbandry published by AgroTypos, the use of tax exemptions and tax low rates based on objective criteria for farmers that does not subject them to excessive taxation, essentially supports the primary production. Moreover in some countries there are tax reductions in the form of tax incentives for farmers with small farms and young farmers. Continue reading The taxation of agriculture in the EU

European Commission welcomes the export of apples and pears from the EU to the the US

European Commission welcomes the agreement of the EU and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) for exports of apples and pears. On a technical, phytosanitary level the EU and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) agreed a specific protocol of measures to be taken by growers of apples and pears and competent authorities in the EU Member States. The next step is the publishment of the draft rule for public consultation. According to the European Commission an effective approval should be possible before the next season starting September 2016, but it will require full engagement and commitment by all parties. Continue reading European Commission welcomes the export of apples and pears from the EU to the the US