Due to the particular climate required to produce date fruit, they can be grown only in tropical countries. In Europe, the only place suitable for their growth is in small areas of Spain, where they are grown and harvested. In addition to climate suitability, another reason why Spain is the forefront of date production in Europe is because it has a stronger background in palm cultivation than other European countries. However, production of dates in these parts of Spain are low – for this reason, dates grown here are exported to neighbouring countries only.
In some European countries, such as Spain and France, dates are purchased only to export them to other countries in new packaging. In actual fact, statistics on the exportation of date fruit show that, in 2001, France, along with Tunisia, Iran, Arabia and America, were the highest exporting countries. More recent statistics from 2009 show that the top exporters of date fruit has changed – with the top five exporters being Mexico, Spain, India, Costa Rica and Holland, who again do not produce the fruit in large quantities, but buy to sell on.
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