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Food and Drink

Fruit and vegetable conference opens in London as UK leads fresh-cut market.

UK leads Europe in the fresh-cut convenience market as 150 professionals gather in London to discuss what lessons the industry can learn.




The success of the fruit and vegetable business is closely linked to trends in diet and health, and while in general European countries consume more fruit and vegetables than they produce there has been a decline in consumption within certain EU markets.

In response to this and the growing emphasis on the benefits of healthy eating, a new event entitled Fresh Convenience is due to take place in London from June 22-24.  A total of 150 delegates and international speakers are expected to attend the conference which is aimed at industry professionals and focuses on fresh produce for the European convenience sector as well as machinery innovation, the seed business and catering for the masses.

In particular, the conference will address the role of the UK as Europe's leading fresh-cut convenience market and what lessons European suppliers and retailers can learn from the UK.  Sales of fresh fruit and vegetables currently account for 30 percent of goods sold in UK convenience stores, while other European countries including Denmark, France and Poland have experienced a significant 14 percent drop in consumption of fruit and vegetables over the last five years.

This event in London is closely linked to the annual Asia Fruit conference, which runs for two days, from September 8 to 10 this year; this event which is thought to be Asia's largest fruit and vegetable trade show attracted an estimated 34,000 people in 2009. London is also due to host the World Fruit and Vegetable Show in October of this year which has previously attracted 118 exhibitors from 21 countries.

The European vegetable market was worth 66.4 billion euros in 2008, however the financial crisis and a declining demand for out-of-season produce and exotic goods has had a significant negative impact on this sector.