EU markets news – Post date: November 13th, 2020.

Germany: Updates on the vegetable market

According to the Agricultural Market Information Company AMI, Germany has recently achieved a self-sufficiency rate of about 36% for fresh and processed vegetables (Fruchthandel, 24 September). In 2020, due to unfavourable weather conditions and temporary labour shortages due to Covid-19 restrictions, the production volume will be lower.

Italy: 3rd month of decline in fruit & vegetable purchases

According to CSO Italy (Centro Servizi Ortofrutticoli), Italian consumers bought less fruit (–5.6%) and vegetables (–0.7%) in August for the third consecutive month (Fructidor, 2 November). Purchasing habits have changed, but prices also seem to have played a role. While the volumes purchased of products from conventional agriculture have fallen, organic products have maintained similar volumes to last year.

Netherlands: ConsumerS become gloomier

Restrictive measures in the Netherlands following the resurgence of Covid-19 infections are having an impact, particularly in the catering sector, but also on the many suppliers of fruit and vegetables and delicatessen products (Fruchthandel, 22 October). Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports that 92% of those questioned believe that unemployment will increase in the next 12 months.

UK: Changing patterns due to Covid-19

According to consultancy firm Kantar, sales of take-out groceries increased by 9.4% in the 12 weeks prior to 4 October (Fresh Produce Journal, 13 October). New health restrictions, including limiting the opening hours of bars and restaurants, shifted the consumption of food products to the home during September, with one in five households ordering groceries online.
More people working from home, and a renewed interest in health, will be a factor in the development of fruit and vegetable sales (Fresh Produce Journal, 6 October). However, the economic downturn will push retailers to focus more on prices as consumers seek to save money.

And a study by Barclays Bank (The Financial, 15 October) shows the impact of the pandemic on consumer purchasing habits: 63% of Britons suggest that they will buy more local products because of the pandemic and Brexit; 49% want to buy seasonal products; and 51% think that shopping in local and farm shops is better for the environment.

UK: Huge growth in organic market

According to research company Nielsen, the UK organic food market has reached its highest growth level in over 10 years : sales of organic products have increased by 9.5% compared to 2019 (Produce Business UK, 25 October). If this growth continues, consumers will have spent £50 million per week on organic products during 2020. The increase is almost 3% more than other non-organic food sales.

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