Fresh tropical fruit, which generally grows in developing countries such as Indonesia, has quite promising prospects in the European trade market. That is why opportunities for Indonesian fruit exporters have great potential there.
Tropical fruit products are a favorite of European consumers because they taste delicious, have many types of fruit to choose from, and are beneficial to health. For example, lychee is a tropical fruit product that has become a popular product, while passion fruit and pitahaya are also sought after by European consumers.
Indonesian Tropical Fruit Export Potential
The Director General of National Export Development (PEN) believes that Indonesia has the potential to become the world’s largest exporter of tropical fruit. One of the ways to become an exporter of tropical fruit in the world is to develop tropical fruit such as durian, mangosteen, and banana domestically.
Tropical fruit commodities continue to be developed in all regions of Indonesia. So that the fruit can be produced throughout the year and Indonesia can become the largest tropical fruit exporter in the world.
However, several obstacles have hampered domestic fruit production. First, production volumes are unstable and prices will drop when harvests spike out of season. For example, in the harvest season, fruit production will increase. But if out of the season, production will decrease.
Opportunities for Indonesian Fruit Exporters in European Market
Competitiveness for tropical fruit products has increased significantly in Europe recently. That is why Indonesian fruit exporters are intensively promoting and developing high-quality products in the fruit trade in Europe. In the last decade, the diversity of fruit in Europe has increased along with the increasing number of tropical fruit imports.
The prospect of sustainable fruit in Europe is also developing towards sustainable production and processing. Environment and society become important issues in trade in Europe. Now, food safety is also a priority considering that European consumers are very concerned about health, and especially in their diet.
If Indonesian fruit exporters are to be successful in marketing fresh tropical fruit to the European market, they must meet several requirements. Starting from the mandatory requirements to meet legal requirements, general requirements, and niche market requirements for more specific product segments.
Some of the barriers to tropical fruit trade in Europe include:
- Not yet able to maintain food safety.
- Products are not fresh and take a long time to reach the European market
- Inadequate packaging and labeling.
- There is a tendency for several production processes to use pesticides.
- Prices are quite high in Europe due to import duties and the high cost of transportation from the country of origin.
Prices for tropical fruit in the European market vary widely, generally sold at wholesale prices in small quantities and small boxes. Tropical fruit shipments are generally by plane, so the price per unit is high. For example Pitahaya € 3-6 per piece, Passion fruit € 0.60 – 0.70 per piece, Lychees € 11-13 per piece, and Belimbing € 1.50-2.50 per piece.
Strategies for Marketing Tropical Fruits to the European Market
So that Indonesian fruit exporters do not lose competitiveness with exporters of other countries in the European market, here are some strategies that can be implemented:
- Choose tropical fruit that the European market wants, including mangosteen, mango, salak, jackfruit, pineapple, passion fruit, guava
- Always maintain the quality of fresh fruit and its fitness
- Maintain Food Safety and Phytosanitary
- Accelerate transportation routes to European markets by developing direct air transportation such as Vietnam and Thailand.
Equally important, all products must be marketed as clean, fresh, and free of pesticides and disease. All shipping and packaging processes must also comply with EU requirements. Before entering EU customs territory, it is also subject to random checks by European customs.
In some inspection supply countries that have implemented an MRA with the EU, pre-export checks must be carried out in the country of origin. The size of tropical fruit is indeed not the same as one another, but it is stated in a predetermined standard (Recommended International Code Practice: Packaging & Transport Tropical Fresh Fruits & Vegetables (CAC/RCP 44-1995)).
In addition to implementing this strategy, to further maximize the introduction of tropical fruit to supplying countries, there are several trade fairs in Europe for food and agricultural products. For example Anuga Expo in Cologne, SIAL Paris, HORECAVA Expo in Amsterdam, and HORECAVA Expo in Gent.
Apart from the fruit exhibition, you should not miss the fruit arrangement contest, business training, seeds and fruit, and the tourism industry. All of these are facilities programmed by the Indonesian government to support the potential development of local fruit in the international market.
From the explanation above, you can conclude that the opportunities for Indonesian fruit exporters to compete in the European market are quite large. However, a strategy and high commitment are needed to overcome all the challenges that have the potential to hinder the growth of tropical fruit exports to international markets.