THE REGIONAL Assembly of Murcia is supporting an initiative from the fruit industry to nominate 12 July as ‘European Fruit Day’ in a bid to boost consumption, creating social and economic benefits for the region.
The initiative – born by the European Parliament with the support of Proexport, agricultural unions and regional cooperatives – will now be put before the national government.
Murcia leads the way in Spanish melon exports, shipping 227,438 tonnes in 2016 or 51 per cent of the national total. Although volumes were down slightly compared to the previous year, in value terms they increased by 9.5 per cent to €158.5 million.
France was the leading destination, followed by Germany and the UK.
In watermelons, Murcia exported 161,546 tonnes last year with a value of €67.9 million, an increase of 10.7 per cent on the previous year. Much of this increase was due to a rise in consumption fuelled by the development and greater availability of seedless varieties.
Germany is the main destination for watermelons from Murcia, followed by the UK, Netherlands and France.
The region is also a major exporter of stone fruit and table grapes during the summer months.