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Fresh produce annual wrap-up of 2020

As part of the Hort Innovation-funded Harvest to Home project, global information and measurement company Nielsen has produced a comprehensive wrap-up of the trends on the fresh produce industry following the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. AUSVEG presents a summary of the report.

Fresh produce trends

Total grocery sales reached a three-year high during COVID with fresh categories taking out the top five growth contributors.
Grocery was the beneficiary of increased at home consumption to the detriment of food service.
Bigger baskets, increased frequency and an increase in the repertoire of shops visited featured strongly in 2020.
Benefiting from more meals at home, vegetables flourished last year with a three-year volume high; however, fruit fared less well and declined 4.7% on year ago.
Longer lasting vegetables – important to shoppers during the early months of COVID-19 – took out the top four spots contributing the most to vegetable volume growth.
Victoria, burdened with the longest period of lockdown, contributed the most to produce growth.
Assisted by an increase in shop repertoire and consumers shopping more locally, other supermarkets such as IGA, Costco and Asian grocers, picked up share in 2020 to the detriment of major supermarkets.

Image: Ausveg

2021 Produce Predictions

Home cooking – Consumers will continue the trend of more home cooking. Ready-to-eat produce solutions that add interest to the ‘what’s for dinner’ question will supplement sales.
Food as medicine – Consumers will prioritise health and wellness – fresh produce can capitalise on this with on-pack messaging highlighting key benefits (e.g., gut health, immunity boosting).
E-commerce – Consumers will continue to purchase through this growing channel having experienced the convenience during COVID. Having an online strategy in addition to your Bricks & Mortar strategy will be important for 2021.
Pre-packed vs loose – Pre-packed produce will continue to grow as a format, appealing to both convenience and safety concerns of consumers. Sustainability of packaging will be a future focus for industry.
Please visit the Harvest to Home website to read the full report.

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Israel announces creation of global seed company

Two Israeli seed producers, Nirit Seeds and TomaTech, have joined forces to create Israel’s largest vegetable seed company. This synergy will enable unique seed breeding research and development that will accelerate the company’s growth in the international seed markets.

Upon completion of the merger, the company will have more than 80 employees worldwide, including molecular biologists, breeders, agronomists, and others.
The company will improve its breeding activities in Israel, Spain, Mexico and Italy, as well as significantly expand its representation in the Netherlands and North America, with a particular focus on growing vegetables in high-tech greenhouses.

Nirit Seeds is one of the most successful internationally traded tomato and pepper seed producers, investing in the development of revolutionary genetic technologies. TomaTech is one of the leading tomato seed companies in Israel, developing premium varieties, including those resistant to the dangerous Tomato Brown Ruffle Virus (ToBRFV).

The production of crop seeds is one of the most advanced and high-tech sectors in Israel. According to the Seed Department of the Federation of Israel Chambers of Commerce, seed exports currently generate $200 million in annual revenue. There are about 25 large and medium-sized companies in the local industry.

For reference. According to market research, the global vegetable seed industry is valued at $8 billion a year and is growing at a CAGR of 8%.

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Karachay-Cherkessia became one of the leaders in the production of greenhouse vegetables at the end of 2021


Greenhouse vegetable production in 2021 reached a record 1.4 million tonnes. According to the Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation, the leaders among the regions in this segment are the Karachay-Cherkess Republic, Lipetsk, Moscow, Kaluga, Volgograd, Novosibirsk, Saratov, Chelyabinsk regions, Krasnodar and Stavropol Territories, the Republics of Bashkortostan and Tatarstan. These regions account for more than 60% of the total production in the country. The intensive development of greenhouse projects in our country helps to provide Russians with fresh vegetables all year round. Last year, the harvest in winter greenhouses updated the 2020 record – more than 1.4 million tons of products were received. Including the production of cucumbers amounted to at least 830 thousand tons, and tomatoes – 590 thousand tons. It is expected that by 2025 the volume of vegetable production in year-round greenhouses will be at least 1.6 million tons of vegetables.


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December: Special Year Overview

In 2022, it will be 22 year since the new millennium started. Can’t believe it? Neither can we, but it is true. Before we go there, it is time to reflect on what has happened this year. Over the next couple of weeks, we will look back at 2021 and we will highlight the most important events that impacted the industry.

New greenhouses, events, even a few shows, technical novelties, and all other relevant news will pass by, offering you something other than Covid to talk about during Christmas and New Years’.


Wish your customers Happy Holidays
This special also offers an opportunity to put your company in the spotlight with a banner in this special box. This banner can be booked until December 24 on our newsletters. For more information, feel free to send an email to: 

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