The California Prune Board has said it is optimistic about the future of California-origin exports into the UK, as talks continue between Britain and America on a potential trade agreement.
This follows a successful year for the growers and handlers represented by the California Prune Board (CPB), who have enjoyed a rise in prune exports to key markets across Europe and Asia.
California is the largest producer of prunes, providing approximately 40 percent of the world’s supply and over 90 percent of America’s total supply.
From 1 January 2021 UK tariffs on imported American prunes will be reduced from 9.6 per cent to eight per cent when the EU’s Common External Tariff is replaced by the UK Global Tariff.
Kevin Verbruggen, CPB’s European marketing director, said: “The California Prune Board is delighted that the UK’s import tariff is set to be reduced from 1 January next year. This is of course outside of a potential trade deal agreed between the UK and US, and we’re looking forward to any further developments on that as and when they are announced.”
In the meantime, the California Prune Board is working to further raise its profile in the UK market with the distribution of a trade flyer aimed at UK trade members, including importers, wholesalers, manufacturers and retailers.
It highlights the benefits of using California Prunes in light of a reduction in tariffs and encourages a better understanding of how prunes can add value to their respective businesses.
Kevin explained: “California Prunes have a number of benefits and uses and can be used to improve the nutritional profile of products thanks to the range of vitamins and minerals they contain.
“They can also be used by manufacturers as a natural fat or sugar replacement, or add value to retailers’ dried fruit categories, as a way to drive incremental, impulse purchases.”
Already this year, California Prunes have been included in a range of products aimed at health-conscious consumers. For example, Colorado-based Four Points chose Californian prunes for its energy bars for their low glycemic index, and South Korean manufacturer Sangsangcho used them in its prune and peach flavoured kombucha drink.
“As consumer interest in plant-based and healthier diets grow, natural products like prunes are becoming increasingly popular, so there’s no better time to look at how they can add value to your business,” said Verbruggen.