According to the latest EU agricultural outlook report, the production of fresh tomatoes in the bloc will decline by 2031 at a rate of 0.4 per cent per year.
The decline is attributed to a drop in overwintered production in Spain (mostly driven by increasing competition from producers in Morocco), and a general move from larger fruited varieties to smaller types such as cherry and mini-plum, which have a smaller volume but larger higher value.
The production of processing tomatoes is predicted to remain stable at around 10.4 million tonnes, although again production is shifting from highly concentrated products, such as tomato paste to less concentrated and higher value-added products such as canned tomatoes, passata, tomato sauces and organic products.
The report also reveals a predicted decline in peach and nectarine production, but says, ‘total usable EU apple production is expected to remain stable by 2031, at 11.1 million t. This is the result of the decreasing area under cultivation and increasing yields resulting from the introduction of new, high-yielding dwarf varieties and improved agronomic management. It is projected that in 2031 7.6 million t of apples will be consumed fresh, while 3.6 million t could be used for processing.’
By 2031, the EU consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables is expected to increase, driven by an increasing consumer awareness of the benefits of adopting a diet rich in fruit and vegetables, as well as public initiatives to promote their consumption.