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Spain’s fruit and vegetable exports to UK are up

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Spain’s fruit and vegetable exports to UK are up
Spain’s fruit and vegetable exports to UK are up CREDIT: Shutterstock

The fruit and vegetable sector in Spain were rightly concerned about the impact of Brexit, however the employer association FEPEX, has reported that exports to the UK are up. The Valencian Community in particular, has enjoyed good growth in sales over the past year.

According to FEPEX, the value of fruit and vegetable exports to the UK rose by 11% in 2021 to more than 15.2 billion euros. This despite the imposition of tariffs and border controls.

Fruits, citrus, wine and olive oil continue to be the best-selling foods benefitting from the exit agreement, which limited tariffs of these products into the UK. Had the agreement not been in place the added cost of exports would have exceeded 198 million euros under WTO rules. That could have dealt a fatal blow to the industry.

This is good news for Spain with exports having grown despite all the obstacles, from Brexit to the pandemic to labour shortages.

EFEAGRO has at the same reported sales of food, beverages and tobacco to the United Kingdom of 345.02 million euros in October, which means a rise of 0.29% so far this year. Although that is an increase for the year so far, sales in October were down 2.2% compared to the same month last year according to the latest foreign trade data published by the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism.

The Spanish citrus sector, with exports of just over 107,000 tons between September and December 2021, also experienced a slight drop in comparison to the same months last year.

Jorge Brotons, Chair of Fepex, chaired, says that the UK remains the third larghest market for the fruit and vegetable business. Although sales have grown so too has the competition countries such as Morocco, Egypt, Turkey and South Africa in a position to supply the same products. Morocco have according to Brotons, announced their intention to increase exports to the UK by as much 650,000 tons more than the last season.

Cost are rising

Exports of Spanish fruit and vegetables to countries other than the UK grew by 4% in 2021 according to FEPEX, they do however say the industry is facing some serious challenges. Included in these challenges are the new CAP, the green transition and the growing globalisation of the fruit and vegetable market.

Although sales turnover was up actual volumes only rose by 1% according to FEPEX.

New rules and obligations

The UK introduced full border controls on January 1st which may hamper exports into the country, with increased paperwork and checks likely to impact trade.

The additions to CAP by the EU will also see direct aid to farmers being restricted from 2023, the additions designed to level the playing field further within the EU. These changes will limit the ability of governments to introduce sectorial interventions.

Brotons says that imports into EU far exceed exports and that: “This imbalance is becoming more and more acute because imports are not subject to the same production, environmental and social requirements as Community productions, making the Community model less and less competitive compared to third countries.”

Finally Brotons says that efforts to improve the competitiveness of farming in Europe will benefit those whose industries are more advanced technologically, and will in turn harm countries like Spain who use more traditional methods.

Whilst it is good news that Spain’s fruit and vegetable exports to UK are up, it is clear that the farming and food industry is facing many challenges that will need to be overcome to retain market share let alone increase sales.


Thank you for taking the time to read this article, do remember to come back and check The Euro Weekly News website for all your up-to-date local and international news stories and remember, you can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

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WWF Lists 224 New Species In Greater Mekong Region

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Source: WWFThe World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) latest report lists 224 new species that have been identified in the greater Mekong region over the last year, as scientists and naturalists work to record and protect flora and fauna in the area.The report highlights the need to protect the rich biodiversity and habitats in the region, which includes Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Myanmar.Although only listed now, the species were identified in 2020 but the report was delayed for a variety of reasons.Amongst the findings was the only new mammal, a monkey called the Popa langur named after the steep hillsides of the extinct Mt. Popa volcano in Myanmar where it lives. The monkey has ghostly white circles around its eyes making it quite distinct from other apes.Included in the list are also dozens of newly identified reptiles, frogs and newts, fish and 155 plant species, including the only known succulent bamboo species, found in Laos.The Mekong region is a biodiversity hotspot and home to tigers, Asian elephants; Saola, an extremely rare animal also called the Asian unicorn or Spindlehorn; and thousands of other species.The addition of the latest finds means that scientists have identified more than 3,000 new species in the region since 1997 according to the WWF.Scientists used measurements and samples from museum collections to compare and identify key differences with features of the newly discovered animals and plants, the report said.Introducing the report Thomas Ziegler, a curator at the University of Cologne’s Institute of Zoology said studying such differences can help determine the range of species and threats to their survival.Identifying new species is tricky, though, and sometimes can only be determined using a variety of methods, such as frog calls and genetic data used to distinguish the Cardamom leaf little frog, found high up in the Cardamom mountains in a wildlife refuge.Some species are found in more than one country, including the bright orange twin slug snake, which consumes other slugs.The Popa langur was identified based on genetic matching of recently gathered bones with specimens from Britain’s Natural History Museum collected more than a century ago. Two main distinguishing characteristics were the broad white rings around its eyes and its front-pointing whiskers.The WWF, working with Fauna and Flora International, caught images of the monkeys using camera traps in 2018. FFI reported the discovery late last year.The monkey is a candidate to be listed as a critically endangered species on the Red List of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, the report said, since only 200-250 are thought to survive in the wild, in a handful of places.The two organisations have underscored the urgency of such work, with more than 38,000 of the 138,000 species threatened with extinction.A new type of begonia with reddish flowers and a berry-like fruit also was found in the uplands of Myanmar, where illegal mining and logging have become an increasingly dire threat in the country, which is in the midst of political turmoil following a military takeover a year ago.Despite human encroachments on tropical forests and other wild zones, much of the Greater Mekong is still little explored and each year dozens of new species are found,a glimmer of hope as so many species go extinct.Not all new species are found deep in jungles. One of the new plant species is a ginger plant called “stink bug” for its pungent odour similar to big beetles Thais use to make a kind of chili dipping paste served with rice, the report said.It was found in north eastern Thailand, in a plant shop.The WWF and its partners will continue to list more species as more research is carried out in relatively unexplored areas like the Mekong.Thank you for taking the time to read this article, do remember to come back and check The Euro Weekly News website for all your up-to-date local and international news stories and remember, you can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

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British Expats In Ukraine Have Bags Packed Ready To Escape

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Image: PixabayBritish expats in Ukraine have bags packed ready to escape. Tensions are mounting and the UK has already begun to withdraw staff from the embassy.Brit couple Ben and Alice are living in Ukraine while they wait for their surrogate baby’s passport to come through. Tensions are mounting in the region and the wait for the passport has now become “nerve-wracking.”Ukraine-based expats are said to be ready to flee and have their bags packed already. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has received intelligence suggesting that Russia could attack at any time.Ben explained that the couple were in Ukraine to help them have a baby. He said: “Ukraine has very different surrogacy laws to the UK which means that it’s much easier to work with an IVF clinic and a surrogacy agency here to have a baby that way… so Ukraine is an international hub of people coming for surrogacy services.“We’ve always known that it would be a load of paperwork once he was born, for us to bring him home – but obviously, what was going to be a period of potential boredom, waiting in an apartment in Kyiv for two or three months, is now more nerve-racking.“Unless we can get a passport for Raphael in the conventional way, or if that becomes impossible, the British Embassy get to the point they can give Raphael an emergency passport, we can’t leave – so it is nerve-racking.”According to Ben, the city feels strange at the moment as no one seems to be panicking yet.He revealed: “It’s really strange… (it’s) like Oxford Street on a Saturday… except for the snow.“It looks normal. Looking out the window… it’s buzzing… there’s no evidence of panic buying, there’s no queues anywhere.“I’ve never been in a country that’s been invaded, I don’t know what that feels like, but it feels bizarre that it could happen (here).”Another expat explained how the consensus is to have your bags packed ready to escape in case an attack happens. He is mainly worried about cyber-attacks.The Manchester-based businessman who splits his time between the UK and Ukraine commented: “Finding somewhere you can escape to, so: bag packed, clothing, water, chargers, grab your bag and get west… (that is) the mantra that most people are adopting.”Thank you for taking the time to read this article, do remember to come back and check The Euro Weekly News website for all your up-to-date local and international news stories and remember, you can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

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Syria: Fears Grow For 850 Children Trapped Inside Prison

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Photo: ShutterstockUNICEF has expressed concern for hundreds of children trapped inside a Syrian prison, as fears grow for their safety. The prison has been seized by Islamic State (IS) inmates, with the children caught up in clashes between Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and US troops who have attempted to storm the Gweiran prison, in the city of Hassakeh.IS seized the prison six days ago since when the forces have been trying to restore order.UNICEF’s Middle East and North Africa Regional Advocacy and Communications Head, Juliette Touma said: “Every day counts. It’s very hard to even imagine what atrocities these children are witnessing.”“The children’s lives are in immediate risk.”According to the SDF more than 220 people have been killed and around 550 militants have surrendered so far. But the fighting has also forced over 45,000 civilians, mostly women and children, to flee from their homes.“These families fled in such a hurry with almost nothing on them in harsh winter weather. Many have already been displaced and fled violence from other parts of Syria,” Ms Touma added.Dozens of IS inmates managed to escape during the attack, with a car bomb detonated and vehicles used to ram through the walls. Other prisoners have taken over part of the facility and some are still holed up in nearby buildings.The UN’s children’s agency said fighting must end immediately so the children, some of which are as young as 12, can leave safely.They were all detained during the US-backed campaigns that drove IS from its last territorial enclave in Syria back in 2019.US Human Rights Watch and other organisations have long criticised the Kurdish-led forces for holding children under inhuman conditions in makeshift prisons. The Gweiran prison is the largest of several where the SDF holds thousands without charges or trial and includes civilians who resist forced conscription.It holds around 3,500 IS prisoners and is one of many in the region housing former members of the group.As fears grow for the children trapped in the prison there seems to be no end in sight, with the siege expected to continue for sometime.Thank you for taking the time to read this article, do remember to come back and check The Euro Weekly News website for all your up-to-date local and international news stories and remember, you can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

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