One should start to talk of lemons with their qualities as a condiment, beginning to position them as a healthy kind of fruit that even has therapeutic properties.
In this vein, Lemos Producer Association (ATC in Spanish) manager Roberto Sanchez Loria emphasised that
“if we are going to do this, then we cannot afford not to be certified. Being certified means we are offering something that we can say is intrinsically good, but which we treat with the same good level it deserves.”
The next matter at a global level in this regard will be that the fruit being sold should have very low toxic residue levels. “In future, we will have to find a balance between the aesthetic quality and healthiness, which is linked to toxic residues. This implies that we will be able to see a kind of fruit that is not as pretty to look at, but will certainly not have any chemicals, aiming for naturalness,” he said.
IDEP Tucumán supports the opening of new markets
Tucumán’s production forecasts augur well for a promising future but one that demands new strategies and new markets.
The state and the private sector are thus working together to seek new trade opportunities for lemons. In 2015, Tucumán began work towards signing plant health protocols with China. IDEP (Institute for the Productive Development of Tucumán) executive director Dirk Trotteyn said a committee of business people and civil servants was formed, which travelled to Beijing and met with their counterparts there to progress on the matter.
“This is a long process we are working on in in a detailed and dedicated way,” he said.
Within the Asian market, meetings have begun with Japan, too, in order to improve conditions so Argentinean lemons can withstand the long journey there.
Moves are also being made in the US.
“We want to reintroduce our lemons in that market,” Trotteyn said.
A few months ago, the President of IDEP and the Minister of Production Development, Juan Luis Fernández, accompanied a delegation of producers from Tucumán in a meeting in Washington in order to advance those talks.
This article was first published in edition 145 (Sep-Oct 2016) of Eurofresh Distribution magazine on page 88. Read more citrus and other fresh produce news from that issue at: www.eurofresh-distribution.com/magazine/145-2016-sepoct.