Challenges and opportunities in the European Lentils market

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Today’s post is about the lentils market in Europe, its challenges, and opportunities.
but let’s start with some numbers and last harvest status:

European lentils production increased from 75,000 tones in 2017 to 116,000 tones in 2021.

Spain and France are the main European producers and consumers of lentils in Europe. Around 80,000 hectares are cultivated in these two countries alone

Lentil imports to Europe averaged 230,000 tones over the past five years. The EU’s largest importer is Spain, with more than 50 000 tones imported lentils per year between 2017 and 2021

Most lentils imported in the European Union come from
North America. The EU imported 100 000 tons of Canadian lentils in 2020 🇨 

What was the Lentils harvest from 2022 in Europe?

The area under lentil cultivation in Europe was similar in 2022, compared to 2021. 

However, the largest differences were mainly recorded in yield due to impacts of spring droughts occurring in France, Spain or Italy in early 2022.

Due to droughts and unusual heat, the lentil bloom was blocked, resulting in 30-50% lower yields than average in some areas.

What are the challenges for Lentils production in EU?

Europe is looking to increase its pulse crop production over the coming years and become more self-reliant

The main policy driver of that change is the Farm to Fork Strategy, which is at the heart of the European Green Deal and to increase pulse production by 2030 and limit the imports from outside EU. 

The strategy is also aimed to make the EU’s agriculture sector more sustainable and diverse.


How EU want to boost pulses production in Europe?


In order to increase production, Poland has just introduced a new regulations on subsidies for farmers to grow protein crops and plan to widely educate farmers in order to grow more pulses   

Dutch government, introduced Economically-Powered Plant Transition through Innovation In Chains (EPPIC), which aims to deliver new perspectives for farmers. The plan is to cut the imports of soybeans by a third and double consumption of pulses by 2030. 

France, plans to increase domestic production by 2030 and reduce its total pulses imports by a third (mainly of lentils and beans).
From 75 000 tones in 2021 to 50,000 tones by 2030.

Author

Piotr Góral Seedea

Piotr Góral

Co-Founder of Seedea (former Ittelia Foods)

piotr@seedea.pl

+48 500 831 909

For many years, together with his small team, he has been boosting the sales of Polish family companies that supply food ingredients (mainly organic) to different foreign markets. His role involves creating new business projects and managing sales. He loves visiting suppliers and farmers during his travels, gathering valuable information that he shares through his articles.

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