THE DEVELOPMENT OF AND PROSPECTS FOR HORTICULTURAL TRADE BETWEEN MEDITERRANEAN COUNTRIES AND NORTH-WESTERN EUROPE

J. Wolf
I am very glad that you have asked me to speak to you about this important and interesting subject. Trade in horticultural produce from Mediterranean countries to North-Western Europe is a longstanding tradition for the advantages of climate have made the Mediterranean a naturally complementary supplying area for the temperate countries of Europe. North-Western Europe, for the purpose of this study including Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Ireland, United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Fed. Rep. of Germany, Switzerland and Austria, constitutes at present a market of 226 million consumers, its import demand for fruit and vegetables amounts to millions of tons which are supplied from all parts of the world and with a value that goes into the billions of dollars (table 1). We believe that the potential of this market is by far not exhausted. Economic forces, especially income growth (in the order of 3.0 to 4.0 per cent per annum during the current decade), the natural growth of population - 1. 3 million a year, or a total of 246 million until 1980 - rising standards of living, growing urbanization, the spread of knowledge of better nutrition and the resulting changes in food habits, all this holds promise for a further expansion of the market for horticultural produce. On the other hand, we are well aware that expansion will neither be unlimited nor will it be realized automatically. Viton (1) has estimated a global potential expansion for fruit and vegetable consumption in the whole of Europe by the end of the seventies of 40 to 60 per cent. Within this global range demand can be assumed to grow fastest for special luxury type of produce and for produce that offers special convenience to the consumer, e.g. by being offered in processed form.

Vis-à-vis this brief summary of the outlet area, let me try to summarize also briefly the main features of the Mediterranean countries considered here and the general outlook for horticulture in them: Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Syrian Arab Republic, Lebanon, Israel, United Arab Republic, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco and the two islands Cyprus and Malta. The 14 countries considered differ widely in details of their physical environment, natural resources, cultural and historical background as well as their economic development, and political organization and associations. On the other hand, they have also a number of characteristics broadly in common, above all the broad similarity of climatic and soil conditions at least as far as the coastal regions are concerned which border the Mediterranean sea. They could be classified in many ways, according to size or level of general development, main

Wolf, J. (1972). THE DEVELOPMENT OF AND PROSPECTS FOR HORTICULTURAL TRADE BETWEEN MEDITERRANEAN COUNTRIES AND NORTH-WESTERN EUROPE. Acta Hortic. 25, 9-25
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.1972.25.1
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.1972.25.1
25_1
9-25

Acta Horticulturae