Latvia has potential of exporting organic fruit, says expert

Over the past five years, the number of organically grown berries and fruit has increased in Latvia, and there could be potential for export, Latvian Radio reported August 19.

The “Kurpnieki” farm specializes in the organic fruit sector. They grow blackcurrants, apples, gooseberries, and honeysuckle. The owner Gints Strazdiņš leads the fruit sector in the Latvian Organic Farming Association.

"There are around 10 thousand fruit and berry gardens in Latvia. A quarter of them are organic. A couple of years ago it was only around 15% of all gardens. That craziness has basically happened over the last five years. In fact, thanks to three cultures that are buckthorn, quince and blackcurrant. These cultures have grown very much. But it must probably be taken into account that they are processing crops and need customers. The areas that have been drawn up, let us say, are too large for Latvia's consuming capacity," Strazdiņš said.

Strazdiņš  believes that organic berries and fruit cannot be contained to the Latvian market.

"The Latvian market must, in any case, be filled with local and organic products as much as possible. But we are as many as we are. And probably if one wants to manage it more seriously, especially in areas that have already been made for berries, we also need to look outside Latvia and look for markets in Europe. There, the market is soaring. There, people don't have to think as much about the costs or whether they can afford it. The eco market, the food market, is developing greatly in Western Europe. If stable export markets are found, then we can grow and expand."

The Latvian Association of Organic Farms has set a target of achieving 30% of organically certified agricultural land in Latvia in 2030 and providing at least 30% of organic food in public procurement.

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