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Post-Brexit Britain relies increasingly on Moroccan fruit and vegetables 

March 24, 2021 at 3:24 pm

Various local fruits and vegetables are seen at a store in the outskirts of Marrakesh, Morocco on November 8, 2018 [Yuriko Nakao/Getty Images]

Britain’s reliance on Moroccan fruit and vegetable has grown rapidly following its withdrawal from the EU at the end of last year, prompting it to establish alternative trading partners.

According to statistics released by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and compiled by Fruit and Vegetable Facts, British imports of Moroccan produce for January were 51 per cent more than in January last year. Moroccan courgettes and strawberries have seen particularly strong imports and are more visible in British supermarkets.

Morocco’s Minister of Agriculture, Aziz Akhannouch, said that the country’s fruit and vegetable exports totalled 474,000 tons in January. More than six per cent of such exports were destined for the UK market. The agricultural sector in Morocco makes up nineteen per cent of the country’s GDP and employs over four million people.

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Britain imported significantly less produce from EU countries in January compared to previous years, with imports falling by twenty per cent.

It has been reported recently that a new direct “Brexit buster” shipping route is to be established between Britain and Morocco. Vessels belonging to United Seaways will connect Poole in Dorset to the Moroccan city of Tangier and will help to bypass post-Brexit traffic congestion and additional customs procedures facing goods arriving via Europe. The service is expected to reduce journey times from more than six days via road to under three.

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