Agricultural Valle Alto, looking to expand to Europe and Canada

Tue 30/07/2019 by Richard Wilkinson

Located in Petén, Guatemala, Agrícola Valle Alto is a producer, packer and marketer of the Tainung 1 papaya variety.

“The weight of the fruit is 0.9 kilos to 2 kilos per unit, with a brix of 9 to 13, and its colour is orange,” said Alex Palma, commercial manager.

With year-round production, the 312-hectare farm produces between 20,000 and 30,000 15kg boxes per week, which are exported mainly to the US (transit time by ship is 4-5 days) and to Central America. In addition to ripe papaya, the firm also exports green papaya, which is fruit that has not yet started its ripening process and is mainly destined for use in green salads or other Asian dishes.

“Our goal is to grow, so that our papaya is known throughout the world. This year we hope to export to Canada and Europe, although they are more complicated markets because it requires air freight and is therefore more expensive. But we have received many proposals from logistics service companies that I think will allow us to arrive there,” said Palma.

In order to expand, the company will have to increase its production area and volumes, since it is currently operating at 90% capacity already. Agrícola Valle Alto is working to reduce waste, and is using postharvest treatment products that are based on thyme and other plant extracts. In the field, it uses pheromones to ward off insects, as well as other types of environmentally friendly solutions.

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