In 2017, strawberry exports rose strongly by 19% in comparison to the previous year. In 2017, the Netherlands were the most important market (24%), followed by France (19%) and the United Kingdom (17%).
Since July 2012, Belgian pear production has been larger than apple production. In the 2016/2017 season, Belgium produced 321,560 tons of pears.
Since the Russian boycott, India has been the largest consumer of Belgian apples outside the EU.
Typical assortment of Belgian fruit
The largest Belgian apple variety in terms of quantity is Jonagold, followed by amongst others Jonagored, Boskoop and Golden Delicious, Kanzi, Joly Red, Greenstar, etc.
Conference pears are the main pear variety, followed by Durondeau and Doyenne.
The main crops of berries, also called summer fruit or soft fruit, are strawberries, red, white and black currants, blueberries, gooseberries, blackberries, kiwi, grapes and raspberries.
The strictest quality requirements apply from the cultivation material to the end product. Processing, packaging and storage also occur with the utmost care. Optimum storage systems ensure a long-term supply.
Over recent years, the Belgian fruit and vegetable cooperatives, better known as ‘the auctions’ and their growers, have been honouring their pledges to commit themselves to sustainable development.
In 2012, VBT, along with its member marketing cooperatives and the associated growers, launched the collective sustainability project and label Responsibly Fresh. VBT itself, the marketing cooperatives and the growers each made specific commitments. The sustainability challenges in the cooperatively organised fresh fruit and vegetable sector are to be tackled collectively. This makes the collective character of Responsibly Fresh unique.
Six years down the line, this third sustainability report gives a snapshot of what we have been doing. Since the project started in 2012, the participants have made definite progress in terms of sustainable development. There have been positive developments in economic, environmental and social terms alike.Responsibly Fresh