Freshfel Headlines

Freshfel Europe Headlines – Edition 1, 2020 

Freshfel Europe holds Annual Trade Meeting at Fruit Logistica

Freshfel Europe held its Annual Trade meeting on 4 February 2020 in Berlin on the eve of Fruit Logistica. During the meeting the Freshfel Secretariat discussed with members the latest trends regarding import, exports, and intra-European trade flows of fresh produce. Moreover, key policy issues destined to deeply impact fresh produce trade were examined, ranging from the new European Commission’s take on trade and geopolitical relations, to digitalization developments and the EU’s flagship ‘EU Green Deal’ initiative, aiming at make Europe the world’s first climate-neutral continent by 2050. In this context, Freshfel Europe called on the fresh produce sector to take the stage as a leading industry in Europe’s ecological transition and build opportunities in this period of change. The press release is available here.

    Freshfel Europe at Fruit Logistica 2020 Media Preview 

    Every year Freshfel Europe attends the largest global fresh fruit and vegetable fair, Fruit Logistica, in Berlin. This year was no exception with Freshfel Europe having a stand in Hall 20 at the fair on the 5-7 February 2020. Freshfel Europe kicked off Fruit Logistica with General Delegate Philippe Binard participating in the Fruit Logistica 2020 Media Preview, which is always held the day before the fair begins. Mr. Binard discussed the latest challenges and opportunities for the global fresh produce sector that would feature highly during the fair including Brexit developments, trends for local fruit and vegetables and the European Commission’s EU Green Deal. Over the course of the three days of the fair the Freshfel Europe held many meetings with members to discuss European legislative developments and new and upcoming initiatives in the sector.

    ‘Follow me to be healthy with Europe’ campaign present at EU Promotion Infoday and POLITICO EU Studies and Careers Fair

    In July 2019, Freshfel Europe, together with Aprifel, launched the ‘Follow me to be healthy, with Europe’ campaign, co-funded by the European Union. The programme was launched at the Eurockéennes music festival in Belfort, France, and has since then continued to gain traction on social media via the #400gChallenge, especially with the help of influencers who have a broad outreach to the target audience which is young people aged between 18 and 30 years old across Europe. The campaign also had a stand with activities at the Paris Manga Sci-Fi Show in October 2019.

    To reach young people all over Europe the campaign was present at POLITICO’s EU Studies and Career Fair, which was attended by over 1000 students and young professionals from different EU Member States and beyond. The campaign’s team attracted attention with a smoothie bike, with which the visitors could create their own smoothies by cycling. To stimulate the audience to start the #400gChallenge straight away there were apples, mandarins and bananas freely available. To encourage the young people to eat a minimum of 400g of fruit and vegetables on a daily basis at home the team also distributed carrot seeds flyers to plant in the garden or in an indoor pot. Close to a third of all attendees of the fair visited the stand and were exposed to the awareness-raising efforts of the Follow me to be Healthy with Europe campaign.

    The campaign was also present at the CHAFEA Promotion Infoday on January 30 2020, during which a poster with information was made available to all attendees. The Infoday gave an overview of good practices and facilitated the partner search to respond to new Promotion calls for proposals. 

    For more information about the campaign and its messages, please visit the campaign website at and follow us on our Social Media accounts (Instagram, Facebook & Twitter: @400gchallengeeu; Youtube: 400g Challenge).

    Freshfel Europe participates in Fruit Economic Forum in Warsaw

    In January, Freshfel Europe General Delegate participated in the Sixth Orchard Economic Forum in the frame of the Warsaw Fruit and Vegetables Market Fair in Poland, which attracts close to 400 exhibitors and 16 000 visitors. The fair was opened by Agriculture Minister of Poland Mr Krysztof Ardanowski who called the Polish sector to be organized, stating that the advantages of Western growers is not better technology or financial support, but their degree of organization. In the Economic Forum, Mr. Binard reviewed the European policy agenda for 2020 and the future of the sector against the background of the new CAP and challenges, threats and opportunities for the next 10 years. He reviewed among others elements the upcoming debate following the release of the new EU Green Deal initiative as well as the expected launch of the Farm to Fork Strategy by the European Commission.

    Fruit Union also delivered a presentation on the future of production and trade in Poland.  With the organization of production, a better balance of demand and supply will be achieved as well as the stimulation of concentration of supply. Joint actions will reduce production costs and stabilise prices at production level. In addition to this, producer organizations are able to coordinate promotional campaigns at national and international level and raise public authorities’ awareness of the protection of the apple industry.

    Freshfel Europe involved in European Commission Conference on ‘Smarter rules for safer food and plant health’

    On 13 December 2019 a conference was organized in Brussels by DG SANTE on the eve of the new legislation on plant health and official controls as well as to celebrate 40 years of the EU Rapid Alert System. Over 2019 Freshfel Europe has worked closely with the European Commission and followed the reform of the plant health and the official controls, which came into force on 14 December 2020. Freshfel Europe’s General Delegate Philippe Binard was part of the session ‘Protecting EU plant health in a changing world’ together with other experts from European Commission, EPPO, IPPC, JRC, EFSA, Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, and the EU reference laboratory. Freshfel Europe’s presentation highlighted the following aspects: the need for sound production to facilitate trade; the need for policy coherence between different priorities such as plant health protection and reduction of active substances; the important role of Research and Innovation, and the lack of reciprocity in policy   between the EU open system and restriction and delays brought by EU partners for European fresh produce exports which need to negotiate their access case by case.

    Freshfel Europe participates in EU Promotion Seminar for agri-food products in Bogota

    On 12-13 December 2019 Freshfel Europe’s Trade Policy Advisor Natalia Santos participated in the European Commission’s EU Promotion Seminar for agri-food products in Bogota, Colombia. During the mission, comprised of European Commission officials and representatives from several agri-food sectors, Ms. Santos had the chance to moderate a session on EU fruit & vegetables’ excellence and their potential in Colombia, Peru and Ecuador. Discussions focused on the quality and diversity of European fresh produce, which perfectly complements the local offer in Andean countries, bringing in more choice of healthy, quality produce to consumers. The session also provided an opportunity to explore solutions to facilitate market access for EU fresh produce to Andean partners, such as the introduction of timelines for applications, the bundle of several Member States requests or the introduction of ‘fast-track’ procedures for access of similar varieties already approved for one Member State.

    Freshfel Europe attends European Commission’s ‘Time’s Up for Food Waste!’ Conference

    On the 12 December 2019 Freshfel Europe represented by Policy Advisor Nicola Pisano attended the European Commission’s ‘Time’s Up for Food Waste! Setting the EU action agenda towards 2030’ Conference in Brussels organised by the EU Platform on Food Losses and Food Waste. The conference provided the opportunity for the EU Platform on Food Losses and Food Waste to present its paper on recommendations for action for the prevention of food waste across Europe. During the conference the included recommendations were presented for each stage of the supply chain. As a member of the EU Platform on Food Losses and Food Waste Freshfel Europe helped draft the recommendations for action over the months leading up to the conference to ensure that the most important recommendations were outlined for the fresh fruit and vegetable sector. The web streaming of the conference is available here and the EU Platform’s recommendations paper is available here

    Freshfel Europe presents first results of fruit and vegetable e-Commerce study at the OECD F&V scheme meeting in Paris

    Freshfel Europe attended the OECD fruit and vegetable scheme meeting on the 4 December 2019 in Paris. The main purpose of the meetintg was to present to members of the scheme the first results of the study, which OECD and Freshfel Europe are currently conducting on the the online sales of fruit and vegetables. The study aims at identifying the current market situation in the EU as well as to review the current legal provisions for fruit and vegetable online sales. Freshfel Europe’s Director Trade Policy and Business Development Nelli Hajdu gave an outlook on the first results of the study, which show a very fragmented and diverse picture of the fruit and vegetable online sales market in the EU. The study will also support future regulatory and control efforts to ensure compliance with food safety and quality requirements online and offline. The study will be published in spring 2020.

    Market Observatory for Apples and Pears

    The first meeting of the Apple and Pear Market Observatory took place in Brussels on 17 December 2019. Freshfel Europe provides experts to this Market Observatory in coordination with other experts from WAPA, the World Apple and Pear Association. The Freshfel Europe Secretariat has a coordination role for these industry experts attending the Market Observatory and also contributes to the market data transparency efforts with crop forecasts, market trends and the latest stocks information as elaborated by WAPA.

    Freshfel Europe MAAC & follow up Algeria advocacy letter sent to Commission

    Last January the European Commission informed stakeholders of Algeria’s intention to maintain and increase import restrictions during the Market Access Advisory Committee (MAAC), of which Freshfel Europe is a member. As a response and on behalf of the sector, Freshfel Europe addressed a letter to Trade Commissioner Hogan and Agriculture Commissioner Wojciechowsk, stressing the urgent need to take into consideration the Algerian ban on fruit and vegetables in the upcoming EU Commission’s formal consultations with Algerian authorities.

    In 2015, Algeria was the Top 6 export destination for EU fresh produce, with a promising growth outlook. However in 2018 the whole market was closed for European fresh fruit and vegetables following Algeria’s unilateral imposition of a ban on 851 imports, aimed at addressing its domestic balance of payments.

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