Around 80% of fruit and vegetables sold in supermarkets in Portugal is grown in the country, according to information from the Portuguese Association for Distribution Companies (APED).
Despite working with more than 8,000 farmers and agricultural organisations APED stressed that one of the main set-backs for the national fruit and veg industry is the seasonality of products.
Distributors also believe that an improvement within the structure of the industry is necessary to meet market demands and promote partnerships which guarantee a continuous supply of products to the consumer.
Relations between national producers and distributors have remained tense since hitting a low in May following controversial promotions by a large hypermarket chain.
At the time the farmers questioned high distribution margins and complained that they were paying for the discounts being offered to consumers; Portugal’s Minister for Agriculture admitted rules were needed to regulate contractual relations within the food chain.