CBI Product Factsheet: Fresh Okra in Europe
Okra is an exotic vegetable in Europe and is consumed mostly by people of African, Caribbean and Asian origin. The main market is the United Kingdom, due to its large Asian and African population. Okra is expected to become more mainstream, providing opportunities for exporters from developing countries. Okra is the fruit of the plant Abelmoschus esculentus also known as lady’s finger or gombo. Okra can be produced in both tropical or sub-tropical climates. The plant can grow up to 2 meters and is either annual or perennial. The unripe fruit should be picked a couple of days after flowering and can be eaten as a vegetable. The seed pods are green or red and can grow up to 18 cm long. Fresh okra can be kept fresh only a couple of days. Okra seeds can be used for making edible oil. In the European market, okra is considered to be an ethnic vegetable and is consumed mostly by African, Caribbean and Asian communities. Okra is shipped to the EU by air.