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Peru a world leader in organic banana exports

Peru ranks second globally with its exports of organic bananas reaching US $73 million in the first half of last year

Peruvian banana exports totalled US $120 million in 2014, up 35% on the previous year, according to the Commission for the Promotion of Peruvian Exports and Tourism, PROMPERU. And organic bananas now account for 53% of all organic exports from Peru. The country has become the world’s second biggest exporter of organic bananas, logging trade worth US $73 million in the first half of 2015. Its main markets were the Netherlands with 42%, the US with 27% and Germany with 16%, followed by Belgium, Japan, Finland, South Korea, the UK, Canada and Chile. Shipments throughout the first half of 2015 were up 28% on the same period in 2014. Total certified organic production in Peru in 2014 covered 486,600 ha, around 7% of the total agricultural surface area. The supply mainly consists of bananas (26% growth), the most traded product, and mango (91%). The most important market for these products was the EU, which took 53% of total organic exports – shipped mainly to Holland (25%), Germany (15%), Belgium (6%) and Italy (3%) – followed by the US with a 33% share, as well as Canada, Estonia and Australia, and Asian countries such as South Korea and Japan.

Organic supply growing in value

In recent years, the global trend towards consumption of safe and healthy products has grown stronger. In keeping with this, over January– July, exports of Peruvian organic products reached US $110 million, which meant 7% growth on the same period in 2014, reports Eduardo Amorrortu, CEO of Exporters’ Association ADEX. In 2014, organic banana exports from Peru achieved turnover up 50% on 2013. Amorrortu highlighted a notable change in consumer patterns. “Today there are consumers willing to pay an additional price for these items, which is reason enough to develop and encourage special differentiation strategies.” He also added that opening up and accessing new markets is a dynamic process, driving stakeholders to continually enhance their competitive edge.


Peru flag map: CC BY-SA 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons

This article appeared on page 82 of edition 141, Jan/Feb 2016, of Eurofresh Distribution magazine. Read that issue online here.

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Peru’s booming grape exports

Attractive prices, numerous overseas market opportunities and a major ramp up in production are behind the major boost in  Peru’s grape exports.

Peru’s grape exports have skyrocketed in the past decade, going from practically non-existent in the year 2000 to about 280,000 tons last year, reports the USDA Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN).

In a new report, GAIN says that grapes are now one of Peru’s main agricultural exports, totalling $646 million the 2014, up 43% on the previous year. They were also up 50% in volume to 267,270 tons.

It said this significant change has been driven by attractive prices and numerous overseas market opportunities, and a major boost in production as a result of new areas planted in Peru.

Peru’s main grape markets in 2014 were:

  • US 44,123 tons
  • Netherlands 41,908 tons
  • China 35,391 tons
  • Other important destinations: Hong Kong, Russia, the U.K.

Grape production in Peru

Grape production in Peru was estimated to reach 520,000 tons last year.

The central valleys along the coast (e.g., Ica, Lima) are where Peru’s grape growing is concentrated. However, new areas in the Piura and Lambayeque regions on the northern coast are rapidly developing. While the average grape yield in Peru was 20 tons/ha in 2014, yields in Piura were up to 34 tons/ha.

The country mostly grows Red Globe but other varieties include Crimson seedless, Flame seedless, Sugraone and Thompson seedless.

Climate challenges

Pests are one of the challenges Peru faces as it seeks to significantly increase its grape production. “Countries with colder climates do not struggle with pests such as nematodes, but due to Peru’s mild weather, this pest has become a problem,” the report says. However, in the northern region of Piura, warm temperatures permit up to two harvests per year, which helps offset the negative effects of pests. Also, Peruvian producers are working to develop more resistant varieties.

Another challenge for the industry is the potential impact of the forecasted severe El Niño. “The majority the growing areas are expected to face either flooding or droughts depending on their location. Without proper preventative measures by farmers and the government, the industry may experience losses in productivity which may take time to recuperate.”

Source: GAIN Report, Peru: Fresh Deciduous Fruit Annual (January 7, 2016)

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US to allow import of citrus from all parts of Peru

APHIS (the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection) has announced it s amending fruit and vegetable regulations to allow citrus fruit from any part of Peru to be imported into the continental United States, but with conditions.

APHIS (the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection) has announced it s amending fruit and vegetable regulations to allow citrus fruit from any part of Peru to be imported into the continental United States, but with conditions.

A fruit fly management program must be in place, including the use of bait spray applications, registration of places of production and citrus fruit shipments must be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate, APHIS said in a recent bulletin.

Under current regulations, the importation of citrus fruit to the US is allowed from five approved citrus-producing zones in Peru, subject to a systems approach.

“However, based on the findings of a pest list and commodity import evaluation document, we have determined that this systems approach also mitigates the plant pest risk associated with citrus fruit produced in all other areas of Peru,” APHIS said. “This action will allow the importation of citrus fruit from the entire country of Peru while continuing to provide protection against the introduction of plant pests into the continental United States.”

This final rule will be effective 30 days after publication in the Federal Register and will be available as of today (Monday, September 14) at:!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2015-0005

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Peru’s fruit and vegetable sector leads its non-traditional exports

Peruvian products have high-quality standards and are conquering new markets.

Peru produces fruit and vegetables of excellent quality throughout the year. With delicious taste, colour and aroma, they are strategically exported in off-season periods to the northern hemisphere.

The fresh fruit and vegetable industry is the most dynamic of the non-traditional export industries. Due to the nature of the market, it generates a whole chain of value in related services, including logistics, cold chain, certifications, and supplies amongst others; creating jobs and infrastructure.

Peruvian products also meet the quality and safety standards required by their customers. Companies are certified with international standards such as ISO, HACCP, TESCO and BRC. They also meet the strict standards of good agricultural practices (GLOBAL.G.A.P.) under the supervision of health authorities in the major markets. These efforts are in addition to the continued improvement of production processes and services by applying cutting-edge technology.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism of Peru recently announced the signing of the protocol for Hass avocado access to the Chinese market, which in the short term will mean additional exports of about 11,500-16,100 tons of this product. This would result in further revenues of US $30 million-50 million every year.

In 2014 about 199,000 tons of Hass avocados were exported and the growth rate was 40% per year, so the signing of this protocol represents a great opportunity for farmers.

Peru has become specialised in the cultivation of fruit and vegetables that are exported fresh and processed to niche markets demanding high quality. Hence, the training of human resources in tasks such as sorting and processing is continuously improving. Thanks to these advances, Peru is the world’s leading exporter of asparagus and paprika, and occupies the top spot in other premium products.

Finally, in the case of grapes, a very important market for this fruit has been found in the Chinese market, especially during the Lunar New Year period, currently taking 13% of Peruvian exports.

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European Commission should better protect EU banana growers, says Spanish MEP

Canary Islands politician Gabriel Mato wants the European Commission to act faster if banana imports from non-EU countries such as Peru and Colombia exceed agreed limits for a preferential customs duty.

Canary Islands politician Gabriel Mato wants the European Commission to act faster if banana imports from non-EU countries such as Peru and Colombia exceed agreed limits for a preferential customs duty.

Mato, a member of Spain’s ruling party Partido Popular, said the Commission should report to the European Parliament weekly – and not just at the end of the year – so timely action can be taken if limits are exceeded.

In a press release in Spanish, Mato said it had been noted in the Parliament’s Committee on International Trade that Peru had exceeded its limit in 2013 and 2014. He said that by the time this was reported at the end of the relevant year, it was too late to implement a safeguard clause suspending the preferential customs duty.

During a meeting of the committee in Brussels on May 6 he called for more to be done to protect EU growers. If asked, they would tell the Commission they are “in a permanent state of crisis,” he said. With the signing of an agreement with Ecuador on the horizon meaning the entry of even more bananas, action on the issue is all the more important, he said.

According to the Commission, in November 2014 it appeared that the imports into the EU of fresh bananas from Peru exceeded the relevant threshold.

However, it said, imports of fresh bananas from Peru represented only 1.9 % of the total imports of fresh bananas into the EU for January-September 2014. Also, imports of fresh bananas from other traditional importing countries, notably Colombia, Costa Rica and Panama, remained largely below the thresholds defined for them in comparable stabilisation mechanisms.

It also noted that:

  • the average wholesale banana price in the EU market in October 2014 (0.98 EUR/kg) did not register notable changes compared to banana price averages for the previous months;
  • that “there is neither an indication that the stability of the Union market has been disturbed by the imports of fresh bananas from Peru in excess of the defined annual trigger import volume, nor that this had any significant impact on the situation of Union producers” and
  • “there is no threat of serious deterioration or a serious deterioration for producers in the outermost regions of the Union.”

The Commission concluded that the suspension of preferential customs duty on imports of bananas originating in Peru would not be appropriate but said it would continue to closely monitor banana imports from Peru.


Gabriel Mato press release: Exigimos a la CE que proteja a los productores europeos de plátano e intervenga antes cuando la entrada de banano de terceros países supere los límites fijados

COMMISSION IMPLEMENTING DECISION of 17 December 2014 determining that the temporary suspension of the preferential customs duty established under the stabilisation mechanism for bananas of the Trade Agreement between the European Union and its Member States, of the one part, and Colombia and Peru, of the other part, is not appropriate for imports of bananas originating in Peru for the year 2014




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US proposes accepting citrus from throughout Peru

Citrus fruit from the entire country of Peru could be imported into the continental United States under a change proposed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS).

Citrus fruit from the entire country of Peru could be imported into the continental United States under a change proposed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS).

Citrus imports are already allowed to the US from five approved citrus-producing zones in Peru subject to a ‘systems approach’. APHIS has determined this approach also mitigates the plant pest risk associated with citrus fruit produced in all other areas of Peru.

Currently, the regulations allow the import of fresh grapefruit, lime, mandarin, orange, tangerine or hybrids, sweet orange, and tangelo from the five approved citrus-producing zones in Peru.

The proposed rule would allow the import of these fruits from the entire country of Peru into the continental United States – excluding Hawaii and the U.S. Territories – under the same conditions currently in place.

APHIS said the change is expected to increase the area in Peru approved to produce citrus for export to the United States to about 1,500 hectares over 3 years. “Additional volumes of citrus expected to be shipped to the United States are 5,000 metric tons (MT) in the first year that the rule is in effect, 6,500 MT in the second year, and 8,000 MT in the third year. These quantities are equivalent to less than 1 percent of annual U.S. citrus production or U.S. citrus imports,” it said.

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Peru sees sustained double-digit growth


After 28% growth in exports in 2014, Peru also increases its environmental and social commitment

The carbon footprint is a key feature in food exports from Peru. It is a management tool that enables companies to become more competitive and improve their market position by creating an attribute that sets them apart in what they have to offer.

In this vein, this year PromPerú has implemented new sustainability criteria to apply to export companies. Work has been done on the carbon footprint in a pilot project to measure companies in the agricultural export sector, specifically for asparagus and citrus. The project is backed by ECLAC and IDB/SECO. These measurements will enable companies to start their plans to mitigate the effects of pollution.

This is proving successful in the sense that companies are starting to work on projects to identify their water footprint, especially in the valleys of the Peruvian coast where water is a factor that limits production. Moreover, it should be noted that ethical trade and social responsibility is inherent in producing Peruvian agricultural exports. All Peruvian companies are engaged in implementing it, supporting their actions with international and bilateral certifications with their clients.

Quality synonymous with reliability 

Peruvian companies are proving to be increasingly committed to maintaining the highest quality in fruit and vegetables for export. The trustworthiness of Peruvian fruit is being recognized by the international markets, which are showing this with greater demand for Peruvian products.

Peru’s presence grows in international markets

According to AGAP, exports from the Peruvian agricultural sector have doubled in the past five years. In the first 10 months of 2014, exports came to US$ 2.963 billion for an estimated 1.67 million net tons, which means a rise of 23% over the same period last year. In this sense, vegetable shipments will have risen by the end of the year by 28% and fruit by 30%. Growth is expected to exceed $US 2 billion, with the fruit sector more dynamic than vegetables.

Main markets

As for precedents in 2013, shipments were made for more than US$ 1 billion to 39 markets, 14 more than five years before and 30 more than ten years before. There are relatively new destinations such as Thailand (US$ 0.7 million in 2009 / US$ 23 million in 2013), South Korea (US$ 36 thousand in 2009 / US$ 15 million in 2013) and Panama (US$ 1 million in 2009 / US$ 7 million in 2013).


This is an abbreviated version of an article which appeared on p90 of edition 135 of Eurofresh Distribution magazine. Read the full article for free here.




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Peru’s blueberry exports up 230%

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Peru exported 1,226 tons of blueberries in the first nine months of this year – more than double its shipments for the same period in 2013.

According to Peruvian government agency Sierra Exportadora, the country’s blueberry exports from January–September were worth nearly US$ 12 million (FOB price)– up from just over $4 million for the same months last year.

With its busiest blueberry export months being September, October and November, it anticipates a year end total of $40 million. Peru’s blueberry exports totalled 1,349 tons last year, with a value of just over $15 million. It ships to countries including the US, UK, Holland and Hong Kong.

Referring to it as the “fruit of the century”, the agency said Peru aspires to becoming a major world blueberry supplier. Earlier this year the agency launched a project to establish raspberry production in the Cajamarca region, tipped by some to soon become Peru’s berry capital.


source: Sierra Exportadora


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Peru: Ambitious projects at Camposol

Camposol: First anniversary of "The Berry That Cares"

Peruvian farming enterprise Camposol has ambitious plans lined up for the next three years.                 Through a total investment volume of 250 million, they plan to diversify and extend the crops they currently grow, including, in order of importance: avocado, asparagus, grapes, blueberries, mangoes, artichokes, peppers, citruses and pomegranates. The firm is channelling 150 million dollars into the region’s most ambitious blueberry product ever, while the rest will be invested in maintenance and extending the company’s traditional plantations. Among these latest projects the most notable are for grape, citruses and asparagus. Camposol currently has 400 ha of Red Globe grape, the most important seeded variety in Peru. 200 new hectares will be sown with seedless grape. For their citrus farming operation, the mandarin groves will be increased from 100 to 500 ha. A significant renewal of asparagus fields is also lined up to replace part of the 2000 ha which are now more than 7-8 years old.  But without a doubt their greatest gambit will be the berry operation. “We opted for blueberry because Peru has a production window from September to October which is not sufficiently serviced by producer countries at the moment”, assures Commercial Manager José Antonio Gómez Bazán. “So far we have planted out 200 ha in Chavimochic / La Libertad, and hope to reach 2,000 hectares in the next three years. To achieve this target, we will be sowing 500 new hectares in 2014, 650 in 2015 and another 650 in 2016.”  The project aims to export 30,000 tons of blueberries annually, which is twice the amount currently produced by Argentina and Uruguay together. So far, the blueberry crops are very young: Between 1 and 2 years old. “Whereas last year we exported 1000 tons, we are set to double this figure in 2014. By 2015 we’ll be in full production with 5,000 tons, which will triple in 2016, and we shall continue to grow until by 2020, when we expect to reach the maximum volume anticipated”, he adds. The main markets for their fruit are the USA, the UK, Germany and the Nordic countries. Additionally, Camposol is planning regular blueberry shipments to Hong Kong and China, while exploring new cool treatment technologies with this in mind. The main challenge is labour, as developing the new plantations will mean increasing the stable workforce from 14,000 to 25,000. To this end, Camposol is creating a new residential project in Trujillo with quality housing for the workers. The company’s aim is to provide steady work for the region’s population while furthering the social development and infrastructure of the local community, in line with the corporate strategy of social responsibility.