Newly released data from the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has shown Spain strengthening its position in terms of global fresh fruit and vegetable production.
The FAO report, which relates to 2013, shows Spain has risen to ninth from eleventh in the world in terms of global fresh produce production, while remaining at the head of all EU nations.
Worldwide production of fresh fruit and vegetables in 2013 came to 2.36bn tonnes, up 4 per cent on 2012. Fruit production came to 965m tonnes, growth of 5.5 per cent, while vegetables totaled 1.39bn tonnes, up 3 per cent.
The world's largest producer of fresh fruit and vegetables is China with 638m tonnes, an increase of 5 per cent on its 2012 figures, while its world share of fresh produce production is 27 per cent.
The second-largest producer is India with 175m tonnes, up 10 per cent and representing 7 per cent of the global total, while the US produces 72m tonnes, down 3 per cent.
Other leading producers are Brazil (45.7m tonnes), Russia (45m tonnes), Turkey (44.7m tonnes), Ukraine (343m tonnes), Iran (31m tonnes) and Spain (30.5m tonnes).
In the EU, Spain leads Italy, which produces 28m tonnes of fresh produce, and France (18m tonnes).