The profusion of negative news about the negotiations’ development at the highest level is generating a growing concern in the fresh fruit and vegetable sector, considering the importance of the UK for Spain, where, in 2017, €1.7 billion worth produce were exported, 13% of total exports, constituting its third destination market.
The sectoral organization Fepex thinks that the contingency plans which companies are adopting “won’t be sufficiently effective” to deal with the market distortion that the lack of an agreement can cause.
Thus, the organization will request all competent administrations to adopt plans to prevent future possible border controls and phytosanitary measures from negatively affecting logistics.
Besides that, Fepex fears that the national preference in the British market will be reinforced and a policy of import substitution will take place, since they have observed an increasing trend to grow fruits and vegetables – both in the open air and in the greenhouse - in the UK in recent years.
The uncertainty created by the Brexit and the pound devaluation have caused the Spanish export of fruit and vegetables to the UK to fall 4% in volume and 3% in value, in 2017 compared to 2017.
This negative trend has continued in the first half of 2018, in which Spanish exports decreased by 2% in volume compared to the same period of 2017.