Europe produces about 19 percent of the world’s grains eaten by humans or livestock and almost 24 percent of the world’s coarse grains (barley, rye, oats). Most of all these grains are grown in Russia.
Half the world’s potatoes are grown in Europe, the Russian Federation grows the largest share. Europe also grows half of the world’s peas, with 40 percent produced in the Russian Federation. Three-quarters of the world’s sugar beets are grown in Europe, Ukraine being the largest European producer. Rapeseed production has been increasing, Germany is its largest producer in Europe, followed closely by France. European production is a bit more than 17 percent of world production.
Europe grows 20 percent of the world’s tomatoes, although the tomato is not a native European plant. Spain and Italy are the leading producers of tomatoes in Europe. Overall, Europe grows 16 percent of the world’s vegetables, with Italy being the largest European producer, closely followed by the Russian Federation and Spain.
More than half of the world’s grapes are grown in Europe. These grapes feed Europe’s great wineries, which produce 70 percent of the world’s wine, a substantial proportion of which is drunk in Europe, although it remains an important export item. Europe also produces nearly three-quarters of the world’s hops, which go into the much-prized European beers. Europe grows more than half the world’s olives, almost all of them in Italy, Spain, and Greece. These countries also produce about 60 percent of the world’s olive oil.