Spain: changes are coming for producer organisations

The Ministry of Agriculture in Spain announced the beginning of the process of public consultation of the new royal decrees on recognition of producer organisations and operational programs for fruits and vegetables. Continue reading Spain: changes are coming for producer organisations

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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.

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.

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

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

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

Netherlands: 2015 a record year for cucumbers and tomatoes

2015 was recorded as an easy year for Dutch growers of pepper, tomato and cucumber. Although the Russian products boycott, Dutch profits doubled in 2015 compared with the previous year, based on a research of the University of Wageningen, LEI. The fact that the average earnings in fruit and vegetables sector was about 274,000 euros this year, 126% more than in 2014, is mainly a coincidence. The sector had been prepared for a difficult year as Moscow, in August 2014, banned imports from the EU of a wide range of agricultural and food products including milk, meat, butter, cheese, potatoes, vegetables and fruit in retaliation for EU sanctions after Russia’s annexation of the Crimean. Continue reading Netherlands: 2015 a record year for cucumbers and tomatoes

The Belgian wine market

The Belgian wine market has clearly many prospects, as Belgium is the 12th in the global wine consumption and the seventh largest importer, as well, given that its own production is very low. According to a recent Belgian research (December 2015) multiculturalism and multi-ethnicity in the composition of its population makes Belgium an ideal market for opportunities and prospects to test products in the international market. Continue reading The Belgian wine market

Wine consumption is declining in Europe

The wine consumption is declining in Europe, while China and USA are expected to be the top countries in the world ranking wine consumption by 2027 based on a study for wine conducted by Coface. The main conclusions among others are that China and USA will be the main demand countries for wine, while Europe remains the first in wine production and exports, reaching a proportion of 60% in both. Continue reading Wine consumption is declining in Europe

Coloured potatoes: a significant antioxidant source in human nutrition even as snacks

Coloured potatoes a significant antioxidant source

Potatoes, due to consumed amount, are considered as one of the major sources of antioxidant compounds in the human diet. Moreover, in recent years, there has been an increasing interest in potato varieties with coloured flesh, mainly because of their high anthocyanin content. Given that diets rich in anthocyanins and other related phenolic compounds have been associated with a reduced incidence and severity of certain kinds of cancer and heart disease, coloured potatoes could be preferred in the diet even as processed foods, such as snacks, as a natural source of antioxidants. Continue reading Coloured potatoes: a significant antioxidant source in human nutrition even as snacks

Portugal: the reduced olive oil production for 2014/2015 was complemented with Tunisian

Portugal: the reduced olive oil production

The 2014/2015 olive season was not good for Portugal, resulting in the increase of olive oil price and imports. According to data of the State Statistical Office of the country INE during the first 8 months of 2015, the Portuguese imports increased in value compared to the corresponding period of 2014 by 91 million euros (70%), amounting totally 221 million euros. This increase is due to the increase of imported quantities, and in 40% increase in the average import price per kg from 2.08 euros/kg to 2.92 euros/kg. The contraction in domestic olive oil production for the season 2014/2015 reached 35%. The Portuguese needs, essentially, were covered from Tunisia. Continue reading Portugal: the reduced olive oil production for 2014/2015 was complemented with Tunisian

Greek and Italian apples dominate in Egypt

Greek and Italian apples dominate in Egypt

The Italian and Greek apples are dominating in the Egyptian market. According to data given by Egypt for the first 7 months of 2015, apples exported from Italy worth 93.8 million euros, covering 48.26% share of the Egyptian market, while for the same period from Greece the value of exported apples was 19 million euros, covering 9.8% share of the Egyptian market. Continue reading Greek and Italian apples dominate in Egypt

The EU wine production for 2015 is expected to be increased by 2.7% compared to the previous year

EU wine production for 2015 is expected to be increased

According to the forecasts of Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development of the European Commission the European Union (EU) wine production of 2015 is expected to be increased by 2.7%, compared to both the 2014-2015 production and the average of the last five years. In the 117th meeting of the Committee for the Common Organisation of Agricultural Markets, which took place in Brussels on September 23, was announced that this year’s wine production for the EU-28 will reach 170.8 million hectoliters (Mhl), compared to 166.232 Mhl in 2014. Continue reading The EU wine production for 2015 is expected to be increased by 2.7% compared to the previous year

Germany: Fresh fruit and vegetable distribution

Fresh fruit and vegetable german market

Germany, with a population of about 82 million persons (16% of the total EU population), is the largest consumer of fruit in the EU. The fruit group with the highest consumption consists of bananas, grapes, apples, oranges and tangerines. The German market is dominated by large retail companies which account for more than 75% of fruit and vegetable sales. Continue reading Germany: Fresh fruit and vegetable distribution

The world olive oil production is expected to be increased and the Spanish to reach 1.2 million tonnes

world and the spanish olive oil production

The International Olive Council (IOC) announced the first forecasts for this year’s olive oil production (2015/2016). According to IOC the world olive oil production is expected to be higher (over 2.5 million tonnes) than that of 2014/2015 (2.2 million tonnes) but lower compared to 2013/2014 (3.2 million tonnes). Regarding the Spanish production, despite the problems of the high temperatures, it is expected to be increased by 40% compared to the previous year. Mr. José María Penco, an agronomist of the Spanish Association of Olive Municipalities (AEMO) talked about an increase of Spanish production, around to 1.2 million tonnes. Continue reading The world olive oil production is expected to be increased and the Spanish to reach 1.2 million tonnes

Forecasts for reduction of world maize production

Forecasts-reduction-world-maize-production

Greek maize cooperatives and producers are optimistic about prices in maize, because the yields are expected to be good, although this year’s cultivated acres are less, due to the last year’s poor commercial maize season. This year’s good performance of silage supports their optimism. According to Agrotypos reportage the silage value is determined by the method of payment. So those who are paid in cash, receive 3.5-3.8 cents per kilo, while those who are paid by credit (usually by a 4-month check) the price ranges to 4 cents per kilo. At the meantime the forecasts of European Commission give hope for good prices the following months (today the producer’s price is about 18 cents per kilo) and refer a reduction by almost 9 million tonnes of this year’s world maize production. Continue reading Forecasts for reduction of world maize production

WAPA: 5% reduction in European apple production

apple production europe

Apple production in the EU is estimated to be reduced by 5% in 2015 compared to last year. This was announced by the World Apple and Pear Association (WAPA), during the Prognosfruit 2015 Congress, held in the northern Italian city of Milan, in August 2015. According to the presented data, this year’s European production is expected to rise to 11.9 million tones, while in 2014 it stood at 12.5 million tones. Small decrease is expected for the Greek production as well, which is going to fluctuate at 238.000 tones (from 245.000 of the previous year) as recorded by the WAPA’s forecasts. In Poland, the largest EU producer country, this year’s production is expected to remain at the same with the previous year level (3.7 million tones). Continue reading WAPA: 5% reduction in European apple production

Greek olive oil seems more competitive international according to foreign experts and media

Greek olive oil seems more competitive international according to foreign experts and media

The current year is being proved as one of the best for the Greek olive oil, as, according to Agrotypos’ reportage, the producers’ prices have recently surpassed the 4.25 euros and continue their upwards trajectory. Indeed in Messinia, South Peloponnese, the price climbed to 4.30 euros per kilo satisfying producers who have stored their production until nowadays. Continue reading Greek olive oil seems more competitive international according to foreign experts and media

Greece: expensive agri-supplies and lack of liquidity, in conjunction with the capital controls have blocked the agricultural works

Greece: expensive agri-supplies and lack of liquidity, in conjunction with the capital controls have blocked the agricultural works

The production of Greek agriculture has been disorganized according to statements of rural sector representatives to Agrotypos. The lack of liquidity and of basic raw materials threatens to blow up the agricultural programming for both this and next year’s growing season. In the meanwhile, given that foreign suppliers demand cash for supplies, and the most farmers are unable to prepay them, representatives of agri-supply sector require the immediate lifting of capital controls for agricultural inputs and the immediate funding from the relevant Ministries and the Bank of Greece.

Photo by United Soybean Board / CC BY 4.0 Continue reading Greece: expensive agri-supplies and lack of liquidity, in conjunction with the capital controls have blocked the agricultural works

Up to 9% less sugar in the European Union for the period 2015/2016

less sugar in the European Union for the period 2015/2016

The sugar production in the European Union (EU) is expected to be significantly reduced for the period 2015/2016. Specifically is expected to be 105.2 million tonnes from 115.6 million tonnes that was last year, as a result of the sizeable stocks in 2014/2015 and the low prices in the international market. These are stated in the European Commission’s short-term outlook report, which was recently published. Basically the production is going to be reduced by 9% compared to 2013/2014. In Greece, where a reduced production is also expected, another sugar factory will re-operate from October. This positive development became known in the midst of Greek economic crisis. Continue reading Up to 9% less sugar in the European Union for the period 2015/2016

Herbal teas made with saffron can create a new high earning beverage market

Herbal teas made with saffron

It’s the costliest spice on earth. The rich around the world have loved it for millennia. Countries like USA love it so much that even imports it from Iran. Iran produces 95% of the world’s saffron. India, along with Spain, Italy, Greece, Morocco and Ajerbaijan, produce the rest. Those who know saffron trade say Iranian saffron is bought by traders in countries like Dubai and then shipped to other parts of the world, including Canada and then to the USA. Saffron is a spice derived from the dried stigma of the flower of the saffron crocus. The flower has three stigmas, which are the distal ends of the plant’s carpels. Continue reading Herbal teas made with saffron can create a new high earning beverage market

Table grapes: The new varieties bring profits to producers

new varieties of table grapes bring profits to producers

In recent years European consumers seem to have turned to new grape varieties. This has as a result the creation of a new “shelf” (as it’s called in the language of the traders) in the super-markets with new and more expensive grapes appealing to consumers with a greater purchasing power than the average. Protagonist in this category (within Europe) emerges by far Spain, although it is not the first European country in production (first position is held by Italy, followed by Spain and the third place is occupied by Greece). The President of Pegasus Coop-Producers Organization “7 Grapes”, Markos Leggas talks to “Agrotypos.com” about the new varieties and the estimation about the table grape market. “7 Grapes” is one of the most important Greek cooperative organizations, which is based in Corinth. Continue reading Table grapes: The new varieties bring profits to producers

Cherry: The increased production in Turkey will affect the european producer prices

Turkish cherry production play a major role in european market

Increase of cherry production is expected this year in countries out of the EU such as Turkey and Canada. A large proportion of goods produced in those two countries are exported to the EU and this fact is expected to influence the prices for cherry. Moreover, given the Russian embargo the expected quantities that will be imported to the European market will be increased. Producers of EU countries (including Greece), express their concerns unless the Russian ban is lifted. According to exporters within the EU, the European market is also under the pressure of Spain which exports large cherry quantities. Continue reading Cherry: The increased production in Turkey will affect the european producer prices

«Discovery wines» and «wine lovers» increase, two major global trends in the wine sector

Discovery wines lovers global trends in wine sector

In recent years the economic crisis has undoubtedly affected all sectors of the economy, not only in quantitative but also in qualitative level. In other words, the declined purchasing power had not only resulted in reduced sales of basic consumer goods (e.g. food products) but also in people’s choices for those products. Even the wine market could not escape this trend. According to people in the wine industry even in countries where sales did not decline, consumers turned to cheaper wines. On the other hand the category of higher quality (and expensive too) wines continues to be a very important market share. This happens probably because people belonging to this target group (of worldwide) have not been affected so much by the financial crisis. Rather they insist on their choices. Continue reading «Discovery wines» and «wine lovers» increase, two major global trends in the wine sector

Greek stock breeders follow the european example by producing and selling their own milk and yogurt

yogurt milk substitute

A group of Greek stock breeders from Ioannina, a region in north-western Greece, exploit the global trend for production and consumption of high nutritional value and quality local products made in small scale (that are produced in less quantities compared to industries) in order to survive the financial crisis. Cow’s and sheep’s milk (both complete and light) and sheep’s yogurt are produced by the Cooperative called “Movement of Ioannina Breeders” (consisting of 12 members) and are sold in the local market. Continue reading Greek stock breeders follow the european example by producing and selling their own milk and yogurt

Potted herbs produced in the historic Marathon of Greece are exported to chains of supermarkets in Europe

Mr. Kriton Kitantzis Business Director of Marigold Plants

The Marigold Plants SA company is situated in Greece, near Athens at Kato Souli, in the historical tomb at Marathon. Marigold Plants SA supplies big European supermarket chains with a wide range of Greek herbs. AgroTypos visited the family company of aromatic and ornamental plants and met the young (31 years old) Business Director of Marigold Plants, the agronomist Mr. Kriton Kitantzis. Mr. Kitantzis, a person with studies abroad and entrepreneur, has managed to become virtually the only Greek exporter of potted herbs in the European market. Big supermarket chains such as Albert Heijn in the Netherlands, the OBI in Germany, the B & Q in Britain and ALDI in Holland and Belgium are included in its partners. In Greece, the company cooperates with Leroy Merlin, Sklavenitis supermarkets and many Garden Centers. Continue reading Potted herbs produced in the historic Marathon of Greece are exported to chains of supermarkets in Europe

Greek horticultural products: High demand during Easter and reduced produce bring better prices to the producers

vegetables prices

May the greenhouse vegetable crops have not been affected too much as the outdoor spring crops by the weather but the impact on production is important, according to AgroTypos reportage. Producers from Crete up to Preveza mentioned that humidity, the lack of sunlight and the presence of diseases, such as botrytis, resulted in reduced production. However, this period the prices range at a good level because of Easter higher demand. Note that the new production period of cucumbers and tomatoes has already been started, while in Crete the harvest of peppers and eggplants is in progress.

Continue reading Greek horticultural products: High demand during Easter and reduced produce bring better prices to the producers