AMSTERDAM: The Balkans are important producers and traders of fresh fruit and vegetables, with a total import of around 1.2 million tonnes. They also export around 1.2 million tonnes of fresh fruit and vegetables.
The countries we’re taking a look at here, together produce nearly 4 million tonnes of fresh vegetables, and an equal amount of fresh fruit. Their proximity to large fruit and veg exporters like Turkey and Italy, as well as to large buyer Russia, makes them important players in the world of fruit and vegetables.
The Balkans have been importing more and more products from EU countries, partly because of Slovenia (2004) and Croatia (2013) joining the EU. About a decade ago, the 7 countries in the Balkans imported less than half a million tonne (30%) fresh fruit and veg from EU countries.
Now they import 1.2 million tonnes, 680,000 tonnes (55%) of which from EU countries. Their export has also increased from 400,000 tonnes to over 900,000 tonnes, around 40% of which to EU countries.