Portuguese exports of fruit and vegetables in 2018 surpassed the €1.5 billion mark for the first time, a leading industry body has claimed.
The data was published by Portugal Fresh, the association for the promotion of fruit, vegetables and flowers in Portugal, which estimated that the sector’s turnover was close to €3 billion.
The latest figures available from the National Statistics Institute (INE), for the period from January to November 2018, indicate that exports of fruit, vegetables and flowers reached around €1.4 billion, up by 1% when compared to the same period the previous year.
Portuguese fruit and vegetable sales to Germany were worth €89.4 million in the 11-month period (+1.3%), which was boosted by Lidl's growing presence in Portugal. The discounter was responsible for exporting 15,000 tonnes to its outlets across Europe last year – a 13% increase on the previous year.
Lidl Portugal was responsible for some 10,900 tonnes of pear exports from Portugal (7,800 tonnes to Germany alone) – a 17% increase – as well as exports of 2,700 tonnes of red fruits (+13%), 1,300 tonnes of cabbage (+44%), as well as apple, watermelon, white melon, and chestnuts.
Currently, Spain, France, the UK, the Netherlands and Germany comprise the largest national export markets for Portuguese fruit and vegetables. Together, these five markets represent 67% of the sector's total exports.
Portugal Fresh has set an ambitious goal of making Germany the third-biggest export market for the country's fruit and vegetable exports – again, working in conjunction with Lidl Portugal.
© 2019 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Branislav Pekic. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.