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Zamora: a specialist in the handling of fresh fruit

Zamora Citrus is a producer, packer and exporter of fresh Argentine lemons.

Zamora Citrus is a producer, packer and exporter of fresh Argentine lemons, continuing the lemon production business started by the Zamora family. The company was set up in 1984 and began exporting in 1994. “Our lemon production takes place on our own farms as well as those of third parties, which together add up to more than 700 ha in the province of Tucuman,” Luciana Zamora said.

In 2009, the company introduced a treatment system that minimises the use of pesticides and chemical fertiliser. Zamora Citrus aims to become a specialist in lemon handling, taking care of the environment and social responsibility, while developing a direct and personal relationship with customers.

The latest news from the Argentinian company is the recent installation of the latest technology for preselection lines and packaging on the market. The firm’s products are sold directly to supermarkets and other retail stores in Europe, Canada, the Middle East and Russia under different brands, offering customers a product in keeping with their needs in terms of quality and calibre: San Andres, Zamora, Zamci, Canri and Miss Alicia.

The company warehouse and farms are certificated by BRC-HACCP and GLOBALG.A.P.. “We have incorporated a postharvest treatment system, which decreases the use of chemicals, as well as the LMR allowed to give the customer a more natural and healthier product,” Zamora said.

For more information: http://www.zamoracitrus.com.ar/en/home.html

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EU says will review CBS situation before next citrus export season

The European Commission, together with Member States, says it will review the situation with citrus black spot CBS interceptions well before the next export season and non-EU countries with recurrent interceptions will be approached on how to comply better with the EU requirements.

The European Commission says, together with Member States, it will review the situation with citrus black spot (CBS) interceptions well before the next export season. Non-EU countries with recurrent interceptions will be approached on how to comply better with the EU requirements. Furthermore, specific audits to evaluate the system of official controls and certification of citrus fruit for export to the EU are planned by the Food and Veterinary Office in 2016, including to South Africa and Argentina.

This is among the information provided on behalf of the Commission by EU Chief for Health and Food Safety, Vytenis Andriukaitis. He was responding to a written question in the European Parliament from Spanish MEP Clara Aguilera García (S&D). Aguilera had raised concerns about cases of the disease in citrus imports from South Africa and Argentina, asking how the Commission planned to prevent CBS spreading to the EU.

Andriukaitis said due to the recurrent number of interceptions of this pest on citrus fruit from South Africa during the 2015 import season, the possible need to revise Decision 2014/422/EU was discussed with Member States. “They agreed to maintain the current emergency measures requesting an increased vigilance to South Africa for the 2015 season.

“From 9 October onwards, South African authorities have unilaterally decided to ban the export to the Union of citrus fruit originating in areas where Phyllosticta citricarpa is present. Finally, the number of import interceptions from South Africa has decreased in 2015 compared to previous years,” he said.

He went on to say the situation would be reviewed before the next export season.

Image: By Cesar Calderon (USDA APHIS PPQ, Bugwood.org) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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Lower blueberry volumes in Argentina

The Argentine Blueberries Committee (ABC) therefore doubts that the auspicious estimates of week 37 will be fulfilled; in fact, everything points to a 12% decrease in fruit volume on 2014, which would mean a total of around 14,500 tons for Argentina.

The late spring frosts are the main focus of attention of Argentine producers; however, nobody expected such a low start of the 2015 season. In addition, the El Niño threat is still dormant, since the forecast is for a rainy season.
The Argentine Blueberries Committee (ABC) therefore doubts that the auspicious estimates of week 37 will be fulfilled; in fact, everything points to a 12% decrease in fruit volume on 2014, which would mean a total of around 14,500 tons for Argentina.
Nonetheless, production is expected to resume its normal rhythm as of week 43/44, bringing a breath of fresh air to Argentine blueberries producers and exporters.  

Early Crop expects a productive growth of 30%

During 2014, Early Crop exported around 1,400 tons of Fresh Blueberries and around 600 tons of IQF blueberries (frozen), a significant increase on the 2013 season. With about 450 ha of its own production, located in the best agro-ecological Argentinian regions for the development of this crop, this year it expects a volume of about 1,800-2,000 tons for fresh and 700 for IQF and by 2018 to reach about 3,000 and 1,000 tons respectively.
The commitment of supplying the unattended demand during the Northern Hemisphere counter-season, together with state-of-the-art technology, resulted in a significant 30-40% productive annual growth.
Around 60% of the production is marketed in the US. New strategic commercial partnerships in the UK (24% of exports) as well as in Northern European markets, together with a consolidation of its own organic production (60%) enabled the company to maximise results.
Manuela Leyba highlights the fact that, “airfreight costs definitely raise the price of the end product, causing restrictions when evaluating new destinations.”
Strictly committed to quality and sustainability, Early crop aims to create economic and social environmental value throughout its management, following international quality and production standards. “Fair trade is part of our mission. We aim at improving the wellbeing of our people and local community,” Leyba said.

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Argentina also sees recovery in apple, pear crops

Argentina’s fresh apple production is likely to rebound to 720,000 tons and pears to 650,000 tons next year, thanks to favourable weather conditions.

Argentina’s fresh apple production is likely to rebound to 720,000 tons and pears to 650,000 tons next year, thanks to favourable weather conditions.

But even so, that’s down on the ‘normal’ levels of about 900,000 and 850,000 tons respectively due to decreased planted area as a result of the economic crisis Argentine producers have faced in the past 7-8 years, says a USDA Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) report.

The country’s apple and pear exports are forecast to increase to 130,000 tons and 310,000 tons, respectively, due to production increases and less fruit supplies in the Northern Hemisphere, and domestic consumption is expected to rise, also as a result of production increase, the report says.

Meanwhile, due to decreased planted area, table grape production is set to fall 10% to 100,000 tons, exports to drop slightly to 20,000 tons and domestic consumption to fall as a result of the lower production.

Distribution channels

GAIN says that the Argentine domestic fruit market is highly concentrated in Buenos Aires City and its suburbs, where over one third of the country’s total population lives, though the country’s government has been trying to decentralise it through the creation of a few fruit distribution markets in the interior of the country.

There are three channels for the distribution of fresh fruit:

  • large exporters from Alto Valle, who use the domestic market as a secondary outlet for their products and have hyper and supermarkets as their main customers
  • medium-sized firms handling smaller volumes and focused on quality
  • small companies handling small volumes that are distributed to pre-established points of sale in larger cities.

Challenges for Argentina’s fruit sector

GAIN said Argentina needs to improve the quality of its fruit, in order to meet the requirements of demanding export markets, and develop new apple and pear varieties. “Among the bicolor apples, only some Gala and Braeburn clones have succeeded in Argentina. Others, like Fuji, Jonagold and Elstar, did not adapt well to local conditions. Among yellow apples, Golden Delicious is the classic variety. Although it adapted well to Argentina’s production conditions, this variety has lost popularity due to marketing problems. Among the red varieties, Red Delicious is the most widespread variety. Since it is sterile, it must be crossed with other varieties such as Gala, Fuji, Elstar, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, Jonathan and Ozarkgold.

“In Argentina, many Red Delicious clones, such as Starkrimson, Red Chief, Hi Early, Top Red Delicious, Oregon Spur, or Red King Oregon and Cooper 8, have been adopted. The second most important apple variety is Granny Smith. During the past few years, a shift towards the Royal Gala variety (bicolor) has occurred as international markets are demanding fewer red varieties.

“Among the most popular pear varieties, William’s accounts for about 45% of the Argentine total pear production, followed by Packham’s Triumph with a 30% share. Other varieties are Beurre D’Anjou, Red Bartlett, Abate Fetel, Beurre Bosc, Beurre Giffard, Clapps Favourite, and Red Beurre D’Anjou,” GAIN said.

Image: “Argentina orthographic” by Addicted04 – Own work with Natural Earth DataThis vector image was created with Inkscape.. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Commons

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IDEP marks 10 years promoting Tucumán exports

IDEP Tucumán, the Institute for the Productive Development of Tucumán in Argentina, has celebrated its first 10 years as an institution that supports exporters.

IDEP Tucumán, the Institute for the Productive Development of Tucumán in Argentina, has celebrated its first decade as an institution that supports exporters.

IDEP is the reference entity on foreign trade. It is run by a diverse board of directors consisting of government officials and entrepreneurs who represent the main production sectors of the province: citrus, sugar, horticulture, metallurgy, tourism and other services.

To celebrate the milestone, IDEP held a cocktail event at the Hilton hotel in Tucumán.

“We welcome this fusion between the public and private sector because it has allowed us to grow as a province, to give visibility to our exporters through participation in fairs and international business circles and help them improve their competitiveness through quality standard certifications,” said Juan Luis Fernandez, IDEP’s executive director.

IDEP: http://idep.gov.ar/

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Argentina leader in early fruit

BERRIES Bluberries argentina Inés Pelaez

2014 a recovery year for Argentinian blueberries

In 2014, favourable weather accompanied the Argentine blueberry season, totalling 16,600 tons, meaning roughly 30% growth compared to the 2013 campaign, which was affected by a localised tornado with hailstorms in Entre Ríos and early frosts which affected all the early harvests in this province and Tucumán, resulting in 12,755 tons of fresh blueberries for export.

Argentina is the leading supplier of early fruits in the Southern Hemisphere, with 80% of early fruit (3,900 tons), accounting for 25% of the country’s total output. In this sense, its forte is not the large volume, but its leadership in early harvest blueberries. The country’s early fruit production has grown 200% from 2011 to the present, due to significant investments made in varietal reconversion between 2006 and 2012, the first results of which we are seeing today. These plantations have not yet reached full maturity, so Argentina is expected to keep on growing in this window.

The main destinations for Argentine fruits are the USA with 62%, then Continental Europe with significant growth in Germany, and the UK with 33%. Although the market share in Asia has increased, it has yet to reach a significant volume, and producers are still waiting for signing of the protocol with China, a market that remains impenetrable to fresh Argentine blueberries. As Inés Pelaez, General Manager of the Argentinian Blueberry Committee, explains, “China has a total of 20,000 hectares planted for consumption during the season of the year when we are not producing, which means an ideal opportunity for Argentina to provide out-of-season supplies.”

NV