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The UK overtakes the Netherlands as buyer of Almeria's vegetables

Despite Brexit, Almeria increases horticultural sales to the UK

The data on exports to the UK in the first two months after the Brexit reflect a decrease in the volume of Andalusian sales, estimated at 6.6 percent; a fact that has raised the concern of Andalusia's Government.

But the results change when looking only at the data presented by Almeria's exporters, because in those first two months they actually recorded a 4.6 increase, compared to the same months of 2015. If we look solely at Almeria's vegetables, the increase in sales to the British market reaches 10%.

For Luis Miguel Fernandez, the manager of the Association of Growers and Exporters of Horticultural Products of Almería (Coexphal), the secret of this commercial success is the dynamic and farsighted nature of the companies in the province, which have managed to stay ahead of the problems.

One of the actions enforced by many trading companies, including CASI Agroponiente, Augrofresh, Vicasol or Única Group, to name a few of the ones with greater presence on the UK market, has been to negotiate the new supply contracts before the start of the current campaign, shortly after Brexit was approved by referendum.

While before the Brexit more than half of the contracts used pounds as currency, most quickly made the switch to Euros, "which of course ensures much greater stability for the entire campaign."

The result of this is that, when Brexit actually happens, more than 90 percent of contracts signed between Almeria-based companies and large distribution groups in the UK, such as Tesco, Waitrose, Asda or IPL (which works with the Asda group), will have been signed with the Euro as currency, thus preventing them from being affected by changes in the British money market.

A second reason is that Almeria's horticultural sector enjoys a very good position in the UK market, as for many years it has been producing specifically for them, following common protocols and looking for the highest quality in both production systems and in the products consumed.

The UK, third largest buyer
Export data for the first eight months of this year reveal that the UK has reached the third place in the ranking of buyers of Almeria's vegetables, taking over from a regular buyer, such as the Netherlands.

Between January and August this year, the British made purchases from Almeria worth 191.5 million Euro, 4 million above the 187.5 spent by the Dutch.

The first two positions remain unchanged and correspond to Germany (514.2 million) and France (241 million euros).

Fuente: La Voz de Almería
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