Fresh produce associations from around the world have formed an international coalition to address increased costs for fresh produce production and trade, which have led to significant concerns on the economic viability of the sector and its capacity to cope with new sustainability requirements.
The coalition will proactively voice the concerns of the global industry regarding the increased supply chain disruptions and propose common solutions.
It has identified a range of key challenges all fruit and vegetable operators around the world are currently facing. These include increased costs of logistics, inputs, fertilisers, packaging materials, energy, delays in the supply chain and an overall shortage of labour. All these aspects have additional implications arising from the continued effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on supply chains.
The coalition will collaborate to raise its concerns publicly and work towards establishing multilateral dialogues with key policy makers and the supply chain including the maritime shipping and retail sector.
It will also look to raise awareness amongst consumers on this issue whilst promoting the importance and value of fresh produce given its contribution to public health and a plant-based diet.
Through these combined efforts, the coalition said it hopes to have fruits and vegetables recognised as an essential public good and support those initiatives that promote a sustainable, affordable, and economically viable fresh produce sector.
The members of the new alliance are: Afruibana, China Chamber of Commerce of I/E of Foods Stuffs, Native Produce and Animal By-Products, ColeACP, Copa and Cogeca, Canadian Produce Marketing Association, International Fresh Produce Association, Freshfel Europe and the Southern Hemisphere Association of Fresh Fruit Exporters.