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Peru’s pomegranate exports soar 40%

Peru’s pomegranate exports soar 40%

Peru expects its pomegranate exports to rise by 40% this campaign, to approximately 50,000 tons. By week 10, the South American producer had already exported about 11,000 tons, up 43% compared to the same point last year. Most of Peru’s pomegranate production is for export, of which around 60% goes to Europe, with the remainder heading mainly to Russia and Canada. However, Peruvian exporters are looking to diversify their markets, and are now targeting Asia.

The rising production is mainly the result of increased acreage combined with the increasing maturity of the trees. Market prices are lower this year due to the higher volume. The Peruvian pomegranate season ends in June, with peak volumes in February and March. However, the increasing overlap with other producers such as Turkey, India and Israel has also put pressure on prices.

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Peruvian avocado exports soar 26% higher

Peruvian avocado exports soar 26% higher

Peru’s avocado exports set a new record in 2018, reaching US$800 million, up 26% on 2017, according data published by the Lima Chamber of Commerce. Peru sends avocados to 35 destinations, the main one being the Netherlands, with US$275 million, followed by the US, with US$191 million, and Spain, with US$111 million. Since 2008, the country’s avocado exports have increased almost ten-fold, from US$84.8 million, having gained access to many markets, such as China, Costa Rica, South Korea, Belgium, Russia, Australia, Portugal New Zealand, the UAE and India.

Monica Chavez of Peru’s Chamber of Commerce said, “With these results, Peruvian avocados are demonstrating that they are not just a fashionable product, but part of a consumption trend in the most demanding international markets. The growing external demand has led to avocados being exported both as a fresh product as well as frozen, purée, salsas, oils and more.”

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Record in Peru’s banana exports

Peru’s banana exports in the first 10 months of last year were worth US $128.8 million, up 7% on the total for the same period in 2015.

Peru’s banana exports for January to October 2016 were the highest they’ve been for that period in the last five years, a record attributed to increases in its production and in demand in its principal markets.

According to exporter association ADEX, the country’s banana exports in the first 10 months of last year were worth US $128.8 million, up 7% on the total for the same period in 2015. It said the volume exported was also up about 7%.

The main market for Peru’s banana exports last year – accounting for a third of the total – was the Netherlands, for a value of US $43.3 million (up 8.8%). Second was the US, taking a 30.2% share valued at US $ 38.9 million.

Next came Germany with a 14% share ($17.9m), Belgium 9% ($11.2m), the Republic of Korea 4%, Finland, Japan, UK, Canada, the UAE, Italy, France, Mexico, China and Russia, followed by 24 more destinations.

Source of information and image: ADEX media release

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All about blueberries in Latin America

All about blueberries in Latin America

Find out why Chile is in a leading position, how Argentina seeks to differentiate itself based on the taste of its blueberries, what is changing in terms of Mexico’s blueberry expertise, and more.

Peru establishes itself as major player in region

“Peru has been able to capitalise on its own knowhow in a relatively short time, but even when production volumes have been growing rapidly there are questions to be answered,” according to Pro Arándanos president Miguel Bentin. There are currently an estimated 2,400 ha planted, plus an additional 800 under way, which means 20,000 t are expected for the 2016 campaign. And by 2018, there will be double the area under cultivation, reaching at least 45,000 t of produce. While the Biloxi variety predominates, there is significant growth in Emerald, Spring High, Ventura and Snowchaser, among others.“We took the initiative to foster the creation of the association when the industry was very young, seeking to grow in an orderly way and generate genuine collaboration between the companies so there would be a transfer of knowledge. The main need is for an association to represent us in accessing markets and distributing the supply,” Bentín said. The main export market is the US, which takes up 54% of the total, followed by Holland, the UK and Hong Kong, with 83% of the volume shipped by sea. The Latin American countries complement each other, with each having its own place in the market, which is why it is very important to open up new markets, Bentín said.

Mexico grows along with its expertise

Mexico is a relatively young player which did not see the blueberry as a real option until seven years ago. It went through a learning process until it found varieties suited to its climate and learned to handle these cultivars, particularly in the area of pruning and bringing them to market. About three years ago, when the sector realised there was potential, various opportunities opened up for it. Today, Mexico has 4,500 ha planted, producing 15 million kg of fruit, and Driscoll’s vice president Mario Steta estimates this area could be doubled in five years. Undoubtedly, the profitability has been quite reasonable, although the average yield is not where it should be. Also, Mexico is creating a very wide season, achieving a total of 9 months’ supply by starting very early for the autumn window and ending very late in mid-spring. Among its strengths are that it supplies all four of the main berries, which gives it an advantage over other suppliers. And processing technology is bringing particularly strong benefits for one of those berries, the blueberry, and with that very good returns. As for the challenges, the main one is farm labour, which also links to the concept of social responsibility and the availability of suitable areas. Steta stressed that “genetic improvement in varieties must not only adapt to the environment and technology, but make it easier for workers in the field, a resource that is becoming increasingly scarce.”

Uruguayan blueberries ready to enter China

Uruguay has a very compact area in its north with few companies, but they’ve been adapting to the market’s needs in varieties and are now internationally recognised. “This year we expect 2,500 t of produce compared to last year’s 1,800 t. We think this will be a good season, despite the slow demand we seem to have now in our traditional markets, such as the US and Europe,” said Marta Bentancur, Upefruy’s head of international development. Uruguayan blueberries already reach the US and Canada, and major countries in Europe, but the big news is that very soon they may also enter China. “Recently we were visited by the Chinese sanitary delegation and they were fully satisfacted with our processes, quality and infraestructure,” Bentancur said. Uruguay will host the China-LAC CCPIT Business Summit 2017, the main summit between China, Latina America and the Caribbean. “There is a big public-private effort working on access to Asian markets. This year, in addition to China, we want to reach other countries such as Indonesia, Vietnam and India,” Bentancur said.

Chile in a leading position

“We have plenty of challenges, but also opportunities,” said Chilean Blueberry Committee executive director Andrés Armstrong. Chile, experienced in blueberry production and export, confronts new blueberry-producing countries from a position of leadership as it already has a sufficient production volume and base to trade and develop markets around the world. “Chile has a strong position as a global supplier of blueberries,” Armstrong said. It currently has more than 15,600 ha in production and its fresh blueberry exports are expected to exceed 94,000 t this season. Chile is present in China and Korea, markets which have helped boost exports to Asia overall, the continent which last year accounted for 9% of its total export volume. In the medium and long term it will be more important to address the production capacity, since there are many developing markets with potential for growth,“ he said. The benefits of varietal conversion in Chile will be more obvious next year, when production is forecast to rise about 10%. Labour and productivity costs are the main challenges, since their availability and competition with other crops hamper future growth. “As of this season, there is a high penetration of new packaging technology in Chilean industry. Who knows how this will progress in future and if at some point we will be able to mechanically harvest the blueberries for the fresh market,” Armstrong said. “We are always examining how we do things, from the field to the end consumer, as part of our ongoing effort to do things better.”

Argentina seeks to differentiate itself by taste

Argentina is a significant supplier of blueberries in the off-season for the Northern Hemisphere. Its production regions grow early or ‘first’ fruit with marketable volumes from September. The three major production areas are the northeast, which contributes 52% of the total volume; the northwest, with 40%, and the centre, with 8%. There is a total of 2,750 ha of produce equivalent to 17,500 t of fruit for 2016. “The Argentine blueberry stands out in the world market for its excellence in quality and especially for its exceptional flavour. This is mainly due to our climate and varieties, since we have undergone a significant change in varieties of nearly 85% of the total area planted. In addition, 95% of exports are sent by air to reach the destination country immediately, thus prolonging the fruit’s shelf life,” said Argentinean Blueberry Committee (ABC) president Carlos Stabile. The ABC is focusing its promotional activity on the fruit’s flavour and also looking to differentiate on origin. The US remains the largest market, with sustained growth but at a mature rate, followed by the UK, which is characteristic for selling by variety. Other markets include Europe, Canada and Asia, with 80% of produce that is sent to the latter continent going to Singapore, Hong Kong and the UAE, and permission to export to China imminent. 

Blueberries image by Jeremy Ricketts via Unsplash under CC0 License

This article appeared in edition 146 of Eurofresh Distribution magazine. Read more from that edition online here.
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Expoalimentaria receives over 3,000 visitors

Expoalimentaria is a trade fair, directed exclusively at professionals, executives and decision-makers from agribusiness, fishing, supplies, packaging, packaging machinery, equipment and services for the food industr.

Expoalimentaria is the food fair that brings together producers, importers, exporters, distributors, supermarkets and service providers from the five continents under one roof.

At the fair held in September 2016, over 600 exporters did business and created new opportunities for development, once again making Expoalimentaria the most important business platform in Latin America, with sales of $800 million.

“The 8th Expoalimentaria has brought together over 3,000 international visitors from five continents, including importers, exporters, wholesale and retail distributors, supermarkets, food processors and service providers. We have spaces here for big and small companies and we intend for them to be the engine for industrialisation.” said ADEX Alberto Infante Ángeles general manager.

It is worth noting that Peru has benefited very much from the growing world food market, especially in Asia, which is experiencing sustained expansion. Proof of this is the growth and evolution of Expoalimentaria. 



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First air shipment of Peruvian produce to China

China is a very important market for Peruvian fruit and vegetables. Peru’s main export products are avocados, asparagus, cochineal and tangerines

Blueberries, grapes, mangoes, avocados, asparagus and citrus were onboard the first of seven cargo flights from Peru to China scheduled for this year.

The inaugural shipment – described by Peru as representing a milestone in its bilateral trade relations with China – saw a China Eastern Airlines plane leave Peru’s Jorge Chavez International Airport on November 22 bound for Shanghai.

In a press release, Peru’s ministry of foreign affairs and trade (Mincetur) said the event also marked the occasion of a state visit by Chinese president Xi Jinping to Peru.

It also said China is a very important market for Peruvian fruit and vegetables. Peru’s main export products are avocados, asparagus, cochineal and tangerines.

Among the suppliers of the Peruvian produce aboard the first flight were the following companies: Danper, ProAgro, Agrícola La Venta, Agrícola Chapi, Complejo Agroindustrial Beta, Camposol, HCQ Perú, Talsa, Santa Azul and Agrícola Athos.

Peru and China signed a free trade agreement (FTA) in 2009 which came into force in March 2010 and under which Peruvian agricultural, fishery and manufacturing sector products gained preferential access to China.


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Sainsbury’s on its support for sustainable agriculture in Peruvian desert

Sainsbury’s Supports Sustainable Agriculture In The Peruvian Desert

UK supermarket chain Sainsbury’s has higlighted in a recent blog post that as you walk through its aisles you might be surprised to find that some of its products – including asparagus, peas, beans and grapes – come from one of the world’s oldest, driest deserts in southern Peru.

“While it might sound unusual, the results are some of the successes from our partnership with Kew Royal Botanic Gardens, a world famous center for botanical and mycological knowledge, as we develop the idea of ‘conservation through use’.

“We’re really proud of our work around this idea, which helps return native and threatened species to otherwise arid areas, introducing them into schools and communities to ensure sustainable, effective growing. Now two years in it’s proven really successful, not only improving farming, but integrating and maintaining delicate ecosystems to build a sustainable future for local people.

“For example, we’ve been able to introduce nitrogen-fixing trees, like Acacia species, to sufficiently improve the soil quality to grow everything from maize and Lima beans, through to guavas and cottons.

“Thanks to its success, we’ve already seen attention from across Peru and the whole community is keen to make this work. That’s why we’re delighted to say that, thanks to support from Sainsbury’s, Kew has established the first Native Plant Research and Conservation Centre. This facility is developing native seed management and propagation protocols for rare native plants at large scale, and is currently acting as a training hub and a much-needed community resource.”

The retailer said that at the heart of this lies its commitment to ensuring that its sourcing “does not have a negative impact on the local environment or communities,”

Whether it’s asparagus or guava in your basket, you’ll know that the items you buy help promote sustainable farming for local communities abroad, Sainsbury’s said.

source: Sainsbury’s blog

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Peak Quality more asparagus and blueberries

Peak Quality's business strategy consists of consolidating its foothold in markets where it is already present, such as Spain, the largest European market for its exports, followed by the Netherlands, the UK and Italy, prior to further expansion.

Located in the city of Ica, 300 kilometres south of Lima, Peak Quality is a company founded in 2005 dedicated to the cultivation, packaging and export of fresh green asparagus.

“We’re a production company with 200 ha of our own cultivation. We also buy in produce from other certified farmers in the area but our aim is to gradually increase our own production area in the years to come.” said head of operations Carlos Aparcana.

The company shifts an annual volume of 900,000 5kg boxes, exporting 60% to the US and 40% to Europe.

Although today the firm is 100% dedicated to asparagus, it is seeking to diversify its production, starting with blueberry cultivation, the first harvest of which was due in August this year.

The goal for 2017 will be to find new growth areas for both products.

Peak Quality’s business strategy consists of consolidating its foothold in markets where it is already present, such as Spain, the largest European market for its exports, followed by the Netherlands, the UK and Italy, prior to further expansion.

“Our added value is that, being a medium-sized company, we are able to provide a fast response and personalised attention in line with the customers’ needs. We also aim to have ongoing production, to be able to supply asparagus year-round,” Aparcana said.

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Procitrus: greater presence in international markets

Exports of Peruvian mandarins have made Peru the seventh biggest supplier of this fruit in the world, as well as the most significant exporter in Latin America. With the US, UK, the Netherlands and Canada at the forefront, Brazil now also imports this Peruvian citrus.

Exports of Peruvian mandarins have made Peru the seventh biggest supplier of this fruit in the world, as well as the most significant exporter in Latin America. With the US, UK, the Netherlands and Canada at the forefront, Brazil now also imports this Peruvian citrus.

The 2015 volume of mandarins remained steady

This year’s campaign has seen some variations to the initial forecasts, mainly due to climatic factors associated with the El Niño effect, which led to more discarded fruit than expected. Although the volumes are slightly below last year’s (2%), fruit is expected to continue to come out until October, and in general terms the campaign will end with a similar volume. In 2015, exports came to 115,000 tons, worth US$120 million, meaning a slight rise of 1% on the previous year, following the trend in growth seen over the last decade. There are differences, however, in the varieties exported. This year, tangelo saw a drop from 25,000 tons in 2015 to 20,500 this season, while there was an increase in mandarins from 75,000 to 76,000. 

Peruvian mandarins now sold in Brazil

The trends in international markets have not varied, taking into account the peaks seen in varieties that may appear in the campaign. The early varieties are sent to Europe, where there is most demand at the start of the season, whereas the US bounces back as of June, demanding tangerine varieties such as W Murcott and Tango, leading exports with nearly 30% of the total. The big news is that Peruvian mandarins are now sold in Brazil.

The first consignment was one container of the W Murcott variety. Sergio del Castillo, the manager at Procitrus, underlines that “this means a great opportunity for local citrus, although we are aware that it is a new market that is still being explored.” On the other hand, there is intense work being done with the Asia-Pacific agenda. The most specific progress is seen with Japan, where Peru has complied with all of the information required by the Asian country and awaits a visit from the Japanese to determine the plant health requirements. Peru set out a work plan, which is an important instrument because it specifies how they are going to handle the phytosanitary controls and the negotiations needed to enter the Japanese market. 

Greater productivity and competitiveness for the sector

“We are now working hard on developing training for the entire production side. The Peruvian citrus sector has been carrying out projects focusing on new technology and improvements in processes to make farmers more productive and competitive. As for the commercial side, the association is going to continue to be present at fairs to support citrus export companies for their brands to become established on international markets. As an association, we do not wish to compete with their own sales management. We are preparing to relaunch the quality seal, this time as a brand to be introduced with other varieties for distribution and positioning abroad. Peru has been growing and will continue to do so, but with a longterm vision,” stressed Sergio del Castillo.

This article was first published in edition 145 (Sep-Oct 2016) of Eurofresh Distribution magazine on page 92. Read more citrus and other fresh produce news from that issue at:


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Increased Asian demand for Peruvian foodstuffs

Peru boosts its perishable trade to Asia by 47% in 2 years.

Peruvian exports of fresh food products to Asia rose to US$ 496.1 million in 2015, which means a rise of 47% compared to 2015, thanks to the rise in demand for fruit such as grapes, mangoes and citrus, among others.

As for the volume dispatched, in 2015 there were 224,554 tons exported.

The Asian country that imported most fresh produce from Peru was China (US$ 140.8 million), meaning 28.3% of Peruvian agricultural deliveries. Next came Hong Kong (US$ 101.8 million), South Korea (US$ 72.2 million), then Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, India and others; in total 32 destinations according to the figures provided by the exporters’ association ADEX.

Grapes one of Peru’s top exports to Asia

The product that saw the most volume exported was the grape (122,810 tons), which is currently one of Peru’s flagship food export products and is available at the time of the Chinese New Year.

Today, there are ever more Asian countries showing a clear trend in preference away from Red Globe to new seedless red grape varieties. However, despite the increase in demand from China, the United States is still the main destination market for fresh Peruvian grapes, accounting for 29% of the total exported.

Citrus and other emerging products

Another sector that is increasing its potential in Asia is Peruvian citrus. According to ADEX, these products have achieved greater production in recent years, above all in mandarins, which are harvested all year, peaking between April and August. Great expectations have been aroused by the recent introduction of these products into Japan.

ADEX reports that in addition to grapes and citrus, the products most in demand from Asian countries include mangoes, coffee, fresh seaweed, asparagus, cocoa beans, quinoa, bananas, maca, maca flour and giant white corn.

Image: By Addicted04, Connormah – Own work CC BY-SA 3.0