Although they seem to have reached a glass ceiling, Moroccan tomato producers say they have the potential to double their export. How to reach this level of efficiency while remaining within the constraints of saturation of water supply, cultivable areas, and energy costs?
Mr. Laraisse Esserghini, director of the Moroccan Association of Fruit and Vegetable Exporting producers (APEFEL, professionals' representative), declared: "We will have to make a qualitative leap in our production assets: in particular, by modernizing greenhouses. Most Moroccan producers currently operate a range of Canarian greenhouses, and we are planning to replace them with climate-controlled greenhouses."
According to Mr. Laraisse Esserghini, "improving the global market reach of Moroccan producers is only possible by improving production structures in a sustainable way. It is a huge investment, but we have the capacity to achieve it if we are supported to invest in more performant greenhouses by the Moroccan government and are reassured by our markets in Europe through an eventual agreement with the European Union".
In a context where the energy crisis has slowed down or even completely stopped the production of greenhouse tomatoes in Europe, APEFEL says they are ready to respond to new market demands while maintaining high-quality production and affordable prices for consumers.
Mr. Laraisse reassures us about the quality of Moroccan tomatoes: "Our produce quality is well known. The farms are the best supervised in the Mediterranean basin thanks to a sufficient number of well-trained engineers and technicians. We can provide any caliber of produce to satisfy the direct consumption needs."
As for the Spanish and French competition, the representative of Moroccan professionals said: "we have always cohabited with this competition and will remain able to maintain prices cheaper than the European price level."
Beyond the Northern markets, APEFEL producers also aim at export destinations in Africa, where the demand for Moroccan tomatoes is still new but increasingly growing, and expect a return to the Russian market as soon as the restrictions related to the political situation are lifted.
For more information:
Moroccan Association of Fruit and Vegetable Exporting Producers (APEFEL)