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"Moroccan tomato growers are desperate for a price increase"

It's the denouement of a long journey for Moroccan tomato growers. After a long summer marked by a heatwave that burned crops, followed by a shortage of seeds, constant phytosanitary problems, and a difficult transition to resistant seeds, all resulting in a delay in the start of the season of around a month, Moroccan tomatoes are finally available for export.

Amine Maataoui Belabbes, managing director of Comaprim, told FreshPlaza, "Availability depends on varieties. We started round tomatoes only around mid-October with more than 2 weeks delay. Grape tomatoes are currently being harvested and will be available soon. For all varieties, the delay is about 1 month.

The export tomato industry in Morocco has been shaken over the past two years by climatic hazards and export restrictions, curbing its development this season. Belabbes says, "In Comaprim's case, although we're not representative of the sector, our acreage is down 10% this season, and we're expecting a 25-30% drop in volumes." According to recent professional statements, tomato acreage in Morocco has remained at the same level as last season, with the picture changing from one grower to another, either downwards or upwards.

Belabbes explains that Moroccan tomato growers are desperate for a significant price increase: "The buyers who are involved with their growers have been able to see the extent of difficulties facing the industry this season. Summer was just horrible for both the growers and the buyers. Above all, I want to emphasize the fact that the increased prices do absolutely not mean higher margins for the producers, every single grower is now affected by the virus to a certain extent. We're going through tough times, and we're calling on our customers to look after their growers."

Despite the difficulties slowing down its development, the tomato industry has made giant strides in the last two years. Morocco has gone from being the world's 5th largest tomato exporter in 2021 to 3rd in 2022, becoming the main source of tomatoes for several European markets.

For more information:
Amine Maataoui Belabbes
Tel.: +212 528 303 101
Email: [email protected]