The city of Bilbao is seeking to position itself as a gateway to northern Spain for overseas fruit imports.
The Port Authority of Bilbao and the city’s wholesale market, Mercabilbao, recently held a meeting in Madrid with representatives of seven embassies from South American and African countries in a bid to capture more import flows of agrifood products from the Americas and Africa.
During the meeting Mercabilbao gave a presentation on its role as an important fruit and vegetable market serving northern Spain and the south of France.
The Port of Bilbao also highlighted its competitive advantage as an entry point for imports into Spain and northern European countries. Bilbao is Spain’s fourth biggest port, handling 31.9m tonnes of cargo a year of which 6.3m tonnes is containerised.
In recent years it has made a play for fruit and vegetable cargo, strengthening its ties with Mercabilbao in order to attract new carriers and services on key fresh produce trades.
Last year the port saw a 17 per cent increase in fruit and vegetable traffic.
After the meeting it was agreed that a group of fruit exporters from Peru, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico and South Africa would visit the port to inspect its facilities during their visit to Spain for the Fruit Attraction trade fair in October.