Dry Weather Conditions in Europe Worry Vegetable Packers

European processors of frozen, canned and dehydrated vegetables in major producing countries are very concerned about the impact of warm and dry weather conditions over this year’s spring and summer crops, PROFEL has advised. The Brussels-based trade association represents over 500 companies that pack vegetables and fruits in 13 EU countries.

In Spain, producers report that growth has been severely affected by scarce or nearly nonexistent precipitation, which has resulted in the volume of stored water to be well below last year’s average. Hydraulic reserves in the 16 basins of Spain stand at 59.4% of their capacity, causing significant water restrictions.

The lack of rain combined with high temperatures during the winter and spring were detrimental for crops in many parts of Europe, affecting important production areas for vegetables in Belgium and Italy, as well as in some regions of France. The exceptional drought has already triggered authorities in a number of nations to implement measures limiting water distribution.

profel elertAlthough it is too premature to accurately assess let alone predict the overall losses of summer vegetable crops, many European processors are worried that current meteorological conditions and the weather forecast for the near term period could have a profound impact on supplies.

This issue and other matters will be discussed during a cross-sector conference in Brussels on June 20 organized jointly by the European Association of Fruit and Vegetable Processors (PROFEL) and the European Fresh Produce Association (Freshfel). Business sessions at the Thon Hotel EU will kick off at 10 AM and run through 4 PM.

The theme of the conference, “Fruit & Vegetables – Healthy and Sustainable Solutions to Europe’s Food Challenges,” will be explored in detail as a panel of experts on nutrition, sustainability, marketing and policy discuss the subject and suggest ways to increase fruit and vegetable consumption. Among speakers are David Hughes of Imperial College, Daniel Fritz of EU Insight, and Jens Tuider of VEBU, the German Vegetarian Union.

Registration information is available by telephoning either Brussels-based PROFEL (+32 2 761 16 56) or Freshfel (+32 2 777 15 80).