The international marketing magazine for fresh produce buyers in Europe
Mike Knowles



Eurofruit 500: issues 51-100

To mark Eurofruitís 500th issue in November, we continue to list our top stories from each previous edition

Eurofruit 500: issues 51-100

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Eurofruit's 500th issue is due to be published at the start of November, a major milestone for a publication that has been reporting on news, trends and ideas in Europe's fresh produce business ever since the European Economic Community began to expand at the start of 1973.

Here, in the second of ten special timelines due to be published online between now and the first week of November, we chart some of the key developments in the European fruit and vegetable market. In total, we have selected one story from each of our 500 issues; below, you can see the top stories from issues 51-100.

Timelines in this series: 1-5051-100101-150151-200201-250251-300301-350351-400451-500.

To secure your copy of Eurofruit's 500th issue, please contact Or view the entire magazine for free online here.

#51 May 1977
European importer association CIMO publishes a memorandum calling for urgent reform of the EEC Common Agricultural Policy, claiming that money used to fund withdrawals from the market and the destruction of produce would be better spent on quality improvements and sales promotions.

#52 June 1977
Bremen's Scipio Group celebrates its 75th anniversary.

#53 July 1977
The first ever container of South African avocados arrives in the Port of Rotterdam.

#54 August 1977
Belgian New Fruit Wharf holds a party to celebrate New Zealand apple shipments to Continental Europe hitting the 1m-carton mark for the first time ever in a season.

#55 September 1977
US marketers announce the commercial launch of 14 new fruit varieties, including Cheyenne blackberries, Tophat and Meader blueberries and Liberty, Festivee and Fiesta grapes.

#56 October 1977
A report predicts that Saudi Arabian fruit and vegetable imports could grow by 15-20 per cent a year, thanks to better port and air infrastructure and a greater number of regular suppliers.

#57 November 1977
Moscow's new fruit and vegetable market opens for business. The 60,000ft2 market is set out on two floors and has room for 800 stalls.

#58 December 1977
Eurofruit reports on the growth of Polish greenhouse production from a current 1,000ha to 1,600ha by the end of the decade.

#59 January 1978
Chilean apple shipments to Europe are forecast to hit a record 2m cartons.

#60 February 1978
JS Saba acquires Rotterdam's International Fruit Company, further expanding its international division.

#61 March 1978
International coldstorage chain Frigoscandia is acquired by Swedish industrial group Aga.

#62 April 1978
The launch of Dufaylite's Floatpacker and Metromethods' M60 heralds the arrival of a new generation of automated apple packing machines.

#63 May 1978
A cyclone wipes out Western Australia's apple crop, cutting shipments to Europe from a forecast 800,000 cartons to just 130,000 cartons.

#64 June 1978
Scipio opens its new head office in Rotterdam. It will be in charge of coordinating and developing the group's business in Benelux, France, Denmark and the UK.

#65 July 1978
Northwest Fruits in the US carries out its first trial shipment of cherries to Japan.

#66 August 1978
A visit to the UK by Portuguese fruit and vegetable growers sparks a surge of interest from importers and retailers, who see strong potential to develop programmes of topfruit, citrus and vegetables.

#67 September 1978
France's nascent kiwifruit industry is taking off, with production forecast to rise from 150 tonnes to 1,000 tonnes within three years.

#68 October 1978
New Zealand's Citrus and Subtropical Council expresses extreme concern about competition in the kiwifruit industry, calling for a ban on exports of kiwifruit plants and grafting wood.

#69 November 1978
The first ever Eurofruit Congress is held in Brussels.

#70 December 1978
A report predicts that, by 1980, Germany will overtake France as the EEC country with the greatest proportion of food sold through hypermarkets.

#71 January 1979
Sunkist unveils its first major rebranding since the label was introduced in 1908.

#72 February 1979
A terrorist organisation threatens to contaminate Israeli produce.

#73 March 1979
Cuba's citrus industry is expanding rapidly. Production is forecast to rise from 286,000 tonnes in 1978 to 1m tonnes in 1985.

#74 April 1979
Four UK winter vegetable growers join forces, creating Exlin Produce to market their produce on the Continent.

#75 May 1979
Agrexco loses its monopoly on Israeli fruits and vegetables when the Ministry of Agriculture grants Shoresh a license to handle 30 types of vegetables.

#76 June 1979
Consorzio Ortofrutticolo Regione Emilia Romagna is established, grouping together 11 cooperatives from Modena, Ferrara, Bologna and Ravenna.

#77 July 1979
Israel develops a new cucumber which can be mechanically harvested, dramatically cutting production costs.

#78 August 1979
Official sources in Madrid announce that Spain is to start shipping apples to China, with plans to send 500 tonnes – mainly from Lérida – a month.

#79 September 1979
EUROFRUIT highlights Africa's growing role as a supplier of out-of-season vegetables to western Europe.

#80 October 1979
More than 200 delegates gather in Brussels for European importer association CIMO's annual congress, at which the trade states its preference for palletised imports ahead of containerised cargo.

#81 November 1979
France announces a Fr154m aid package for banana industries in Martinique and Guadeloupe decimated by Hurricane David.

#82 December 1979
United Brands, owner of the Chiquita banana brand, announces that it will sponsor the 13th Winter Olympics, to be held in Lake Placid in February.

#83 January 1980
A study by Israel's Ben Gurion University shows that irrigation with saline water from aquifers under the Negev Desert produces sweeter-tasting tomatoes and cucumbers.

#84 February 1980
Spain announces that the results of its first kiwifruit export season have been very positive, with fruit quality on a par with New Zealand's.

#85 March 1980
JS Saba strengthens its position in Sweden's retail market by merging with the country's biggest department store, NK-Ahlens.

#86 April 1980
The New Jamaica Terminal opens at Newport. The £800,000 facility will be used for a new weekly shipping service between the Jamaica and the UK.

#87 May 1980
The collapse of apple prices caused by overproduction prompts growers in Switzerland conduct the first trial plantings of kiwifruit.

#88 June 1980
United Brands announces that it will add Californian fruit to its programme of Chiquita-branded citrus following successful trials with Spanish fruit.

#89 July 1980
French premier Valeira Giscard d'Estaing comes under fire from Spanish exporters after calling for Spain's entry to the EEC to be delayed.

#90 August 1980
There are calls for a new generic banana campaign – the first since ‘Unzip a Banana’ in the 1960s – to boost flagging banana consumption.

#91 September 1980
Bama, Norway's biggest private fruit and vegetable wholesaler, celebrates 75 years of banana imports.

#92 October 1980
Californian grower Alex Abatti develops the world's first self-propelled fruit and vegetable harvester for watermelons.

#93 November 1980
French marketer Prince de Bretagne celebrates its 10th anniversary.

#94 December 1980
The Hammond Group, sole handler of fruit and vegetable cargoes at the Port of Dover, sees volumes rise 50 per cent to 120,000 tonnes in just 12 months, reflecting the port's growing importance as a point of entry into the UK.

#95 January 1981
Greece becomes the tenth country to join the European Economic Community.

#96 February 1981
Despite continued tension in the Middle East, France reports a continued increase in exports to the region, with shipments totalling 35,000 tonnes in 1980.

#97 March 1981
California capitalises on the failure of the Israeli avocado crop with a surge in exports to Europe.

#98 April 1981
United Brands transfers its entire banana import operation from Rotterdam to Antwerp, making the latter Europe's largest gateway for the fruit.

#99 May 1981
Mexico ramps up airflown exports of melons, avocados, mangoes, pineapples, limes and stonefruit to Europe as it seeks to reduce its reliance on the US and diversify its export markets.

#100 June 1981
Christian Salvesen, the UK's largest coldstorage, transport and distribution company, announces plans to establish a new network for the specialised distribution of fresh and chilled produce.

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