As 2021 began, it was clear many things have changed since the beginning of 2020. A terrible global pandemic hit everywhere and changed everything. The pandemic forced a change in the way we meet people, the way we communicate, the way we work and among other things, the way and what we eat.
Your reasons for starting a snail farm operation can be different. Whether you do it to be self-sustained, start a small business or a global operation. You will need to consider the COVID-19 impact on the operation.
Now, as the world is attempting to start its healing process. Many countries are undergoing distribution of vaccine and many countries will follow. There is hope in each one of us that we will go back to our normal life soon.
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With the closure of restaurants around the world, it was expected that the demand for snails will decrease in 2020. However, you can easily see it on the exporting and importing data below, that this wasn’t unified across the board. Some countries, like France, decreased their import by a lot. On the other hand, other countries didn’t decrease by that much and some even increase the import of snails. Some of the countries even increased the number of farms.
Which country exports the most snails?
The table below shows the 10 largest exporters of snails in the world. It also shows their growth in the last year and 3 years. Morocco is leading the chart with 10.48M. This is double of the export value of the second place, Lithuania with 5.78M. However, the growth of the third place, Ukraine is phenomenal. Another country to pay attention to is Italy. Italy doesn’t produce as much snails as the other countries above it in the list. But in 2020, they increased that volume by more than 7 times!
Which country imports the most snails?
If you would check the data for snail import in 2020, you would see that out of the 10 countries in the first 10 places, 8 had year over year increase. In addition, all of them had 3 years growth in import. As said before, COVID-19 changed a lot. The data for 2021 shows something completely different. Out of the 10 countries, only 4 increased the volume of snails import. Spain, France and Portugal import the largest amount of snails. It is also worth mentioning that France had decreased their import volume by more than 60%. The fact that they are still in the second place only shows the potential of this market.
Snail Farms in Europe in 2021
Many snail farms were opened in Europe in the last couple of years. Among all of them, one country stands out. In Ukraine, over 100 snail farms were opened in 2019 alone. Recent reports show they are well over 400 farms by now. They have positioned themselves to become leaders in snail farming. As the demand for escargot will soon rise, Ukraine will be in great shape to distribute their snails all of the European Union, especially to Spain and Italy. Ukrainian farmers were ready with around 1,000 tons of snails to export in 2020. Unfortunately, COVID-19 lockdowns changed a lot.
Another European country with mass snail export capability is Poland. Poland is part of the European Union which makes them favorite. However, the Ukrainian farmers are selling their snails in more competitive pricing, often goes for around 10% less than the Polish.
Which countries are the largest markets for snails?
Many people would guess that France consume the most snails. However, they are only in the third place of snail consumption. The three countries with the highest consumption are:
- Spain – 17K tonnes
- Morocco – 9K tonnes
- France – 3K tonnes
Those three together are 67% of the world snail consumption. Other countries with high consumption are Italy, China, Hungary, Bulgaria, Portugal, Indonesia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Which country produces the most snails?
The three countries that produce the largest amount of snails per year are responsible for over 60% of the world snail production. The countries are:
- Morocco – 19K tonnes
- Spain – 6.5K tonnes
- Indonesia – 2.5K tonnes
Continue reading: Leaving it all behind to start a snail farm in the US
Wyatt is an inspiring entrepreneur. Several years ago he came across the Snail Farming business model and fell in love with the simplicity, the low carbon footprint and potential. He read every book and attended every course available on Heliciculture.