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Port of Montreal.
Port of Montreal.
January 30, 2023

The Global Coalition of Fresh Produce has released a report analysing the current global trading environment for fresh fruits and vegetables. The report argues that fruits and vegetables are a critical element of the shift towards healthy and sustainable diets, as well as an engine of economic growth and job creation the world over.


However, a number of challenges are currently threatening the long-term economic viability of the fresh produce sector worldwide, and thereby economic stability, food security and health. These challenges include substantial increases in costs, inefficiencies and delays in transportation, labour shortages, dwindling consumer purchasing power and obstacles to international trade, among other factors.


Ron Lemaire of the Canadian Produce Marketing Association and chair of the Coalition said, “Our sector has shown great resilience in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and has guaranteed consumers’ access to healthy and nutritious products. But rising costs will ultimately be passed on to consumers in the form of reduced supplies and higher prices.”


Zeroing in on one aspect of the report, let’s consider the recommendations for logistics:


-   Regulatory levers must be used to ensure undisrupted and priority access for fresh fruit and vegetables to all transportation networks, including rail, road and air transportation. Governments should promote the development of innovative, efficient and sustainable ways of moving goods inland, via roads, railways and inland waterways. Multimodal, coherent transportation solutions are necessary to ensure the swift conveyance of our highly perishable products. For example, the use of different types of railway tracks currently causes unnecessary and time-consuming on- and offloading of goods before they can travel on to their final destination.


-  To resolve difficulties in logistics and safeguard the smooth flow of fruits and vegetables across borders, priority lanes should be created to ensure quick offloading and transit in seaports and other points of arrival. In all points of entry, by sea or over land, priority lanes should ensure quick customs checks and reduced transit times.


-  We urge policymakers to investigate – _in collaboration with all stakeholders in the supply chain for fruits and vegetables – _the causes of inefficiencies at seaports, and implement measures to minimize bottlenecks and improve operational practices to ensure the seamless movement of fresh produce.


-  Harmful practices by international ocean carriers are contributing to supply chain dysfunctions, thus creating additional costs for fresh produce traders and preventing them from capturing export and import opportunities. Governments must work together to provide greater oversight of international ocean carriers and ensure fair and ethical practices to support the continued flow of goods.


For the full report, link here:


Source: Global Coalition of Fresh Produce January 27, 2023 news release


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Submitted by Karen Davidson on 30 January 2023