To mark the 25th anniversary of Fruit Logistics, the host country Germany is, for the first time, also the partner country - meaning the spotlight has turned on the country's fruit and vegetable production and consumption statistics.
According to the latest figures published by the Agrarmarkt Informations-Gesellschaft mbh (AMI) in Bonn, around 1.23bn tonnes of vegetables and some 800m tonnes of fruit were produced worldwide in 2016, with nearly 10 per cent of global fruit production and almost 4 per cent of global vegetable production sold fresh in cross-border trade.
The EU fruit harvest in 2016 reached 38.2m tonnes, 3 per cent less than in the previous year. The EU vegetable harvest in 2016 is expected to reach roughly 63.5m tonnes, representing a slight 1 per cent increase compared to the previous year.
According to estimates by the AMI and the Federal Statistical Office, Germany's fruit harvest in 2016 totalled around 1.32m tonnes, roughly equivalent to the previous year. This figure is significantly lower than the record set in 2014, when the harvest was 1.49m tonnes.
As indicated by the AMI, the market production of vegetables in 2016 rose by more than 2 per cent in Germany to 3.5m tonnes. This growth is mainly due to an increase in land under cultivation. As in the previous year however, the harvests were slightly below average.
The average German private household purchased 160.4kg of fresh fruit and vegetables in 2016 (88.7kg of fresh fruit, 71.7kg of fresh vegetables).
While the most popular fruit varieties in Germany are apples, bananas and oranges, the most popular vegetable varieties include tomatoes, carrots and onions.
While private households in Germany only slightly increased their spending on food and beverages by about 1 per cent, the increase in fruit and vegetables (including potatoes) was just under 6 per cent.
"This means that fruit and vegetables once again belong to the most important categories in the retail trade", says Helmut Hübsch, a consumer research specialist from the Gesellschaft für Konsumforschung (GfK).
In his view, the number of actual purchases deserves special attention: "Households purchase fruit and/or vegetables an average 86 times per year: 86 times in 52 calendar weeks means that households buy fruit, vegetables, or both more than once a week."