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Miguel Gomez: Globalisation ramps up fresh-produce evolution
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20.07.2016 09:35

Thanks to globalisation, the fresh produce industry is changing quicker than ever before. Global trade patterns for fresh fruit and veg are evolving and emerging export and import countries are developing quickly. Produce Business UK reports on the illuminating seminar given by Dr Miguel Gomez of Cornell University at The London Produce Show and Conference in which he examines international trade and the globalisation of the fresh-produce sector.

Dr Miguel Gomez, associate professor of applied economics and management at Cornell University in the US recently returned from a trip to the country of his birth, Colombia. His visit coincided with the start of the mangosteen harvest, the delicious tropical fruit whose properties he gleefully avowed. As such, the fruit, he explained was to be seen everywhere. Not least on the streets and at stop signs next to roads. There it was selling for $0.80 a pound.

Back in his adopted hometown of New York he rang a friend to enquire how much mangosteen was retailing for. His friend told him it was being sold for $60 a pound.

“It happens every year,” he says. “I know of someone who brings mangosteens to retail in New York. He does that for a three-week period, and at the end of that he doesn’t have to work for six months.”

Thus began, Dr Gomez’s seminar on International Trade and Globalisation of the Produce Industry at the recent London Produce Show and Conference. His point being that globalisation, and the global trade that occurs as a result of these shifts, is rapidly changing the fresh produce industry. And as he drew a line under his introduction he stated that he believed there are more changes to come - far more than have already happened.

Gomez’s seminar looked at the following:

  • Global trade patterns for fruits and vegetables
  • Competitive Market Factors
  • Emerging export countries
  • Emerging importing countries
  • The impact of regional trade agreements on the present and future of the produce industry
Future factors

And looking to the future the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) that aims to remove barriers to trade and investment between the EU and the US could act as another driver for growth. Gomez believes that trade will increase both ways, but that the EU produce industry is going to benefit tremendously with harmonisation.

In conclusion, Gomez stated:
  • The produce industry is becoming rapidly globalised
  • The global produce industry has benefited substantially from increased trade (both exports and imports)
  • Demand is growing faster in developing countries - how to take advantage of export opportunities?
  • Market access is constantly improving.
  • More exporters will be competing in many markets (for examples, increased consumption in Asia)
The big winners in this increased global trade are the consumers. There is more employment, more trade and more consumers Gomez said.

Read the whole article here.

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