According to Portugal Fresh - Association for the Promotion of Fruits, Vegetables and Flowers from Portugal: “This is the first time that international sales in this sector have exceeded, in the first six months of the year, the barrier of one billion euros”.

“The fruits, vegetables and flowers produced in Portugal are increasingly valued in international markets and this positive evolution in exports is the result of work done by the sector, which is increasingly modern and technological, focused on the market and investing heavily in knowledge and innovation”, said the president of the association, Gonçalo Andrade.

The official clarified that there has been an “increasingly professional approach to the enhancement of products”, focusing on international promotion, branding and maximising the added value of products, despite the context of uncertainty in the markets and the challenges to production resulting from the changes climatic conditions, with significant reductions in quantity.

According to the association, the results “contradict the downward trend in the value of exports that Portugal recorded in the first half and “confirm the strategic importance of the sector”.

More value needed

In this sense, the leader warned of the “need to value the agri-food sector, through the adoption, by the Government, of effective management policies for fundamental resources such as water and designed for the real needs of producers and companies, and that do not always remain exiguous” when compared to those adopted by the governments of other European countries.

More than 80% of the sector's sales were made to Spain (33%), France (14%), the Netherlands (13%), Germany (8%), the United Kingdom (7%), Belgium (4%) and Japan (3%).

The highest growth, in terms of value, in exports is registered in vegetables (24% more compared to the first half of 2022) and in preparations of vegetables and fruit (an increase of 18%).

Fruits, on the other hand, registered a decrease in exports of 3% compared to the first half of 2022.

The same trend was followed by ornamental plants and flowers (down 3%).

The main products exported were processed tomatoes (€330 million), small fruits (€260 million), citrus fruit (€172 million), pears (€111 million) and fresh tomatoes (€79 million).