10 Things to Keep in Mind While Exporting Agricultural Products to Europe

By Cogoport | 13 Feb 20 | Read Time: 3 minutes
10 Things to Keep in Mind While Exporting Agricultural Products to Europe

There are certain things that should be considered when you decide to export agricultural products to Europe. The import of agricultural products to Europe is quite limited due to the temperature and climatic conditions there, which is not favourable to agricultural products. Few of the major imported agriculture products to Europe are Cocoa, tea, spices, soya-bean products, cotton, off-season fruits, vegetables, and coffee. Thus, the European Union gives huge credit to the farming sectors that are involved in agricultural trade with Europe from all over the world.

Considering the financial strength and deficit of arable land in Europe, agricultural trade with Europe is a golden opportunity for many developing countries. In the data published by Eurostat in 2017, the total value of agriculture products imports and exports between the world and Europe was 275 billion euros.

However, there are few things to speculate while exporting agricultural products to Europe, mentioned below.

1. Common Agricultural Products Exported to Europe

European agricultural production includes products such as vegetables, grains, fruits, and sugar. A major part of the agricultural products is exported to Europe, which includes dairy products, poultry, fruit, vegetables, and olive. In the data published by Eurostat in 2017, the total value of agriculture products imports and exports between the world and Europe was 275 billion euros.

2. Quality

The first thing that you should keep in mind is the quality of agriculture products due to the consciousness of the people regarding their healthy eating habits. In 2017, the Vegetables were a major part of agriculture imports to Europe, which was around 48 percent. Foodstuffs and animal agricultural imports were 32 percent and 20 percent respectively. EU food law requires that the competent authority of the exporting country offers guarantees as to the compliance or equivalence with EU requirements for the food of animal origin. The authorities are present to make sure that the third countries should maintain the operational criteria put forward by the European Union, especially Regulation number 882/2004.

You should keep in mind that the organic agricultural products you want to export to Europe should be produced along with a certified logo. It can be made clear from the fact that people of Europe buy 95 percent of the organic products that have an organic farming logo.

4. Demand in different regions

The places where the consumption of vegetables and agricultural products is more should be targeted, when exporting to Europe. According to FAO data, the vegetable supply is quite high in Southern Europe as compared to Northern Europe. In Northern Europe, the average supply is 195 g per person per day, which is 71 kg per person per year. However, in southern Europe, there is an average supply of 756 g per person per day. The place is to be researched before beginning with the exporting process as the WHO estimates that in more than half of the countries of the European Region, the consumption of fruit and vegetables is lower than 400 grams per day, and in one-third of the countries of the European region, the consumption is less than 300 grams per day.

5. Rules and Regulations

The European health certification and Accreditation Requirements are critical to the success of your export business. Regulation (EC) 178/2002 (General Food Law) is the regulation which sets out the general principles and requirements of European Union food law Health certifications are necessary for the import of agriculture products. Additionally, the quality certificates are also as necessary for marketing the products under a specific label. The establishment of EU rules and standards in the food and the agriculture sector has been happening in Europe for a long period of time. However, in January 2002, changed the scenario and the publication of a general food law took place in which general principles of EU food and agriculture law were established.

6. Importance of Research

Before exporting, thorough research is necessary about the customer preferences in regards to agriculture products. The most exported items include foodstuff, beverages, and spirits together estimating around 39 % of the products, which has a value of around 31 billion euros. Products registered under chapter 23 estimate around 23 % of foodstuff imports, which has a value of 10 billion euros.

7. Competition in the Market

The competitiveness of the target market is a vital factor to be considered when you think about exporting your product. More than 500 million consumers and 21 million small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can provide opportunities to grow and establish you in the competitive market. 16% of the world’s imports and exports are shared by the members of the European Union.

8. Study of Models related to the export of agriculture products

The model proposed by the International Plant Protection Convention should be studied thoroughly and followed while exporting the agricultural products to Europe. European Union has only one model certificate for exports and one model certificate for re-exports of plant products in accordance with international regulations laid out by the IPPC.

9. Packaging Policies

The packaging and production laws proposed by the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) should also be kept into consideration, otherwise, the EU health certificate will not be granted to the product, and it might get banned from the European market. The method to obtain an EU Health Certificate requires the manufacturers to provide their final production and packing facility registered on the FDA Dairy Plant Reference List of EU approved facilities. There are certain certificates such as dairy EU storage, EU raw milk product health, and dairy EU transit.

10. MRLs

The European Union has established maximum residue levels (MRLs) in order to prevent the risk possessed by pesticides on food products. In case any product contains more pesticides than the mentioned number, then that product will be banned from the European market. It should be kept in mind that European buyers are strict in this aspect and they need information about the pesticides so that health standards can be maintained. 33 to 70 per cent of the supermarket chains ask for legal MRLs from the exporters.

What does this mean?

While Exporting Agricultural Products to Europe, it becomes vital to look at the different rules and regulations set up by the European Union regarding agricultural products consumed in Europe. The market analysis and market trends of Europe should also be kept in mind along with the demand and taste of the European people.

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