Trade & Fair Competition

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Trade & Fair Competition

The European fruit and vegetable sector feeds a large part of the European population and, at the same time, is a competitive trading partner able to supply fresh fruit and vegetables to consumers all over the world. In 2017 alone, the trade flow of fruit and fresh vegetables within the EU was worth EUR 36.8 billion and the export flow to non-EU-countries (EUR 4.6 billion).

The fact that intra-EU trade is eight times bigger in terms of value than exports shows the critical role farmers play in supplying European supermarkets and stores with fresh food. However, despite the good development of the integration in the single market, trade in fruit and vegetables still faces challenges due to the lack of technical harmonisation between the Member States.

Currently, some actions can weaken the internal market, such as protectionist policies in the field of fruit and vegetable marketing or the orientation towards the re-nationalization of the CAP (Common Agricultural Policy).

For this reason, FruitVegetablesEUROPE (EUCOFEL) is committed to deepening the EU single market to the detriment of national preference to compete with the rest of the world. The single European market is key to boosting productivity and reducing costs through the elimination of customs formalities, harmonisation, or mutual recognition of technical standards.

Regarding trade with third countries, the European Union continues to deepen its integration into international markets. Since 2015, the European trade policy has significantly evolved, and the EU has concluded new trade agreements with Ecuador, Canada, Japan, South Africa, Ghana, and Côte d’Ivoire, Ukraine, among many others. Even though the benefits that these agreements bring to the European economy, one cannot ignore the enormous comparative disadvantage that creates for European producers.

At FruitVegetablesEUROPE (EUCOFEL), our priority is to defend the European fruit and vegetable sector against imports from third countries that do not comply with the same quality standards and sustainability criteria. The entry of fruit and vegetables that do not comply with European regulations causes an enormous competitive loss for European farmers who are subject to stricter regulations. We stand for an international trading system that guarantees fair competition for European producers.

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