The European suppliers are rolling out their I Love Fruit&Veg from Europe initiative to the UK in an effort to boost the post-Brexit trade in fresh produce.
The initiative which is co-financed by the European Commission was launched last year by Italian producer organizations AOA-Associazione Ortofrutticoltori Agro, La Deliziosa, and Terra Orti to promote awareness and sales of seasonal, sustainable, high-quality European fruit and vegetable products in Italy and other European countries. The project now has the backing of some 6,000 suppliers, producers and growers.
Emilio Ferrara, director of Terra Orti, told the Fresh Produce Journal, “‘I love fruit & veg from Europe’ is designed to promote and encourage the purchase and consumption of European fruit and vegetables, namely fresh fruit and vegetables, and organic, including certified quality labels (PDO/PGI) already recognised in the UK, and the benefits these bring, in terms of freshness, sustainability and quality – and of course variety and versatility.
“Food safety and the quality of food products have always been of utmost importance to Italy and the rest of the European Union,” he added. “And in these worrying times our campaign offers that assurance to UK consumers, importers, retailers and caterers.”
According to the campaign organisers, in 2021, the total imports of fruit and vegetables imported to the UK amounted to 5.6 million tonnes, a slight decrease compared to 2020. With 50.2 per cent of these imports coming from the EU. The campaign organisers hope to increase imports from the EU to more than €4 billion by the end of 2022.