The Global Coalition of Fresh Produce has published the results of its survey around the increasing costs of fruit and vegetable production globally.
According to the preliminary report, businesses on the supply side of the fresh produce industry experienced “unprecedented” cost increases during the pandemic, led by fertilizer, construction, fuel, shipping, and electricity. Higher selling prices were not able to offset those cost increases, the coalition said, leaving around 57% of the global industry at a loss or breaking even.
Selling prices have gone up 14% in North America in the past two years, the report said.
The rise in costs for production and operations has impacted respondents’ investments not only in capital and equipment but also in innovation and expansion, the coalition said.
Spiking costs have also affected strategic and operational choices. Some operators are choosing to import from countries with lower shipping costs.
“We conducted this global survey to shed light on the challenges experienced by the fresh produce supply chain worldwide,” said Ron Lemaire, Global Coalition of Fresh Produce chair, in a statement. “The narrative highlighted in this report will help the industry, its partners, and all government levels understand the current impact of the increase in production costs and work together to address them.”