- Fruit and vegetables – the primary product of Euro-Mediterranean agriculture
The fruit and vegetable sector is crucially important to countries in the south and east Mediterranean, generating two to three million jobs, together with something in the order of 20% of production and 35% of agricultural exports. Its two leaders, Turkey and Egypt, account for some 70% of fruit and vegetable production in southern and eastern Mediterranean countries.
But the sector also plays a significant role in the Mediterranean regions of EU member countries, such as Italy (25% of European production) and Spain (22%).
- Converging sectors in the Euro-Mediterranean
The fact that the fruit and vegetable sector constitutes one of the cornerstones of the Euro-Mediterranean is because for the past 20 years, production on both shores has been closely interrelated. As far as Morocco, Tunisian and Egypt are concerned, the fruit and vegetable sector is already highly integrated with Europe, thanks to direct export and investment.
Although tomatoes and citrus fruit account for a high proportion of fruit and vegetables for both EU Mediterranean countries and their southern and eastern neighbours, all these countries export relatively varied products, which reduces any potential competition between the two shores of the Mediterranean.
For example, Turkey exports mainly nuts and dried fruit, production of which is relatively uncommon within the EU. Similarly, Algeria and Tunisia specialise in the export of dates.
medFEL 2017 will honour of potatoes and sweet potatoes at its next edition, scheduled for 25-27 April in Perpignan.