Fresh produce associations including Freshfel Europe (European Union) and the Southern Hemisphere Association of Fresh Fruit Exporters – SHAFFE (Latin America, Oceania, South Africa) have agreed to form a global coalition to address increased costs for fresh produce production and trade.
The global coalition also includes Afruibana (West-Africa), China Chamber of Commerce of I/E of Foods Stuffs, Native Produce and Animal By-Products (China), ColeACP (African Caribbean Pacific countries), Copa and Cogeca (European Union), Canadian Produce Marketing Association – CPMA (Canada), International Fresh Produce Association – IFPA (U.S.). It will proactively voice the concerns of the global industry regarding the increased supply chain disruptions and propose common solutions.
The group has identified a range of key challenges all fruit and vegetable operators around the world are currently facing. The concerns include increased costs of logistics, inputs, fertilizers, packaging materials, energy, delays in the supply chain and an overall shortage of labour. Furthermore, all these aspects have additional implications arising from the continued effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on supply chains.
The coalition will therefore collaborate to raise its concerns publicly and work towards establishing multilateral dialogues with key policy makers and the supply chain including the maritime shipping and retail sector. The group will also look to raise awareness amongst consumers on this issue whilst promoting the importance and value of fresh produce given its contribution to public health and a plant-based diet.
Through the combined efforts of these important international trade entities, the coalition hopes to have fruits and vegetables recognized as an essential public good and support those initiatives that promote a sustainable, affordable, and economically viable fresh produce sector.