Support to Investment

Direct routes to Eastern Europe for Moroccan fruits and vegetables

28/01/2021

Twenty-eight Moroccan fruit and vegetable producers and traders met with representatives from the three leading logistics companies in Poland on 28 January to explore ways to increase Moroccan fresh produce exports to Eastern Europe.


Poland is one of the largest importers of small citrus fruit in the world, buying mainly from European countries like Spain, Italy and Greece. The country is also a significant importer of counter-season fruits and vegetables.


"After we met with potential buyers in Poland, it became clear to us that the key obstacle to increasing our market share in what is a very interesting market is the lack of direct access to buyers," said Mr Achour Daoudi from Moroccan Taste, one of the participants.


Moroccan exporters and Morocco Foodex have been working with FAO and the EBRD with the support of the EU to overcome that hurdle, helping to get Moroccan fruits and vegetables into Poland directly at competitive prices.


FAO agribusiness expert Florent Tomatis said that a recent study showed that "without an established agro-logistical platform for Moroccan products, it is very difficult to assure Polish buyers that the product will be delivered in the right quantity with the right quality and on time."


During the meeting, Moroccan exporters and Polish agro-logistical operators discussed possible scenarios for setting up such platforms, including costs and other requirements.


Othman Tlemcani, Principal Banker at EBRD, noted these efforts were part of an initiative financed by the European Union, FAO and the EBRD to improve high value-added trade opportunities for Morocco's horticulture sector.


"Thanks to this project, Morocco Foodex was able to organize numerous encounters over the last year that allowed Moroccan exporters and Polish operators to meet and exchange information," he said.


El Mehdi El Alami, Director of promotion and development of Morocco FOODEX, added that these exchanges gave them "very concrete ideas of how to place Moroccan fresh products in Poland, and from there possibly other Eastern European countries. It is now up to the operators to build the national consortiums and the partnerships in Poland that are needed to make it come true."

Photo credit Adam Jones, Ph.D. via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 3.0)