The Italian strawberry crop is in decline, according to the latest US data.
While the country remains an important European producer, figures from the United States Department of Agriculture show the strawberry crop, worth around £36m last year, is shrinking at 2% a year.
The study claims this is due to increasingly high labour costs and international competiton.
A similar situation is evident in Spain, which remains top of the world league with exports worth over £180m. Production fell 9% last year to 300,000 tonnes.
Meanwhile,as growers cut back to try and improve profitability, there is the prospect of Poland joining the EU.
Already a major exporter of frozen fruit and pulp worth a total of £56m, this only represents 60% of the country's crop.

{{MARKET EDGE }}