UK – The UK table grape sector is gearing up for robust growth, with ResearchandMarkets.com projecting a market value of USD 1.422 billion by 2028.
This surge is attributed to a consistent consumer shift toward healthier snack choices, marking a steady Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 3.47% from its 2021 valuation of USD 1.120 billion.
A report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in 2022 highlighted a noticeable increase in the nation’s grape consumption, rising from 275,000 metric tons (MT) in 2019 to 280,000 MT in 2022.
Over the same period, imports of fresh grapes, particularly table grapes, grew from 269,000 MT to 280,000 MT.
The USDA’s Economic Research Service revealed that the UK’s agricultural production was forecasted to be approximately USD 29.83 billion in 2019.
In tandem, the CBI Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported a significant uptick in the import value of fresh grapes, surging from EUR 310 million (USD 337.6 million) in 2017 to EUR 365 million (USD 397.97 million) in 2021.
England’s table grape cultivation is concentrated in the southern regions, notably Kent, Sussex, and Hampshire, benefiting from a milder climate conducive to grape growth.
The emphasis on locally produced grapes aligns with consumer preferences for supporting domestic agriculture and reducing carbon footprints associated with importing fruits from distant regions.
The table grape season in England spans from late summer to early autumn, reflecting the climatic limitations on the growing season. Most grapes are harvested during this period, contributing to the sector’s distinctive characteristics.
As one of the world’s major consumers of table grapes, the UK operates in a highly competitive European grape market, primarily driven by large retailers.
To enhance productivity and extend the harvesting season, the adoption of new grape varieties is becoming imperative, especially with the market being influenced by producers from Peru, Chile, South Africa, and India during the European counter season.
Compliance with general requirements for fresh fruit and vegetables is crucial for UK table grape producers.
This includes adhering to pesticide residue regulations, a particularly pertinent concern for directly consumed grapes.
The European Union has set Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs) for pesticides in and on food products, emphasizing the importance of meeting these standards to avoid market withdrawal of products containing excessive pesticide levels.
Considering these trends and projections, the UK table grape industry is poised for substantial growth, fueled by consumer preferences, regional production advantages, and strategic responses to global market dynamics.
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