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EU confirms its position of leadership in global agri-food trade

EU confirms its position of leadership in global agri-food trade
09 September 2021

Despite the difficulties due to the ongoing pandemic, 2020 has proven to be a successful year for the EU agri-food trade, which reached a total value of €306 billion (€184 billion of exports and €122 billion of imports).

These numbers confirm the EU position as the largest global exporter in the sector with a growth rate of 1.4% compared to 2019, and the third-largest importer behind China and the United States, with a growth of 5%. The EU’s most important trade partner in this sector was the United Kingdom, with a share of 23% in the total EU agri-food exports and 13% in total imports.

The positive trend of the agri-food sector is important for the EU as the agriculture and food production and processing chain together account for 7.5% of employment and 3.7% of total value added in the EU. The output of the EU agricultural sector was estimated at €427 billion in 2017, which is a strong increase compared to the 2016 value of €406 billion.

To further improve the competitiveness and the sustainability of the agricultural industry in the EU, in June 2021 an agreement was reached on a reformed Common Agricultural Policy set to be launched in January 2023. This new policy – funded with over €380 billion for the 2021-2027 period – is set to support research and innovation in order to provide healthy and sustainable food for society, as well as vibrant rural areas. This new approach will play a key role in the realization of the ambitions set by the European Green Deal.

Image © European Commission, 2021

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