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Peru targets even greater diversification of horticultural supply
The Peruvian horticulture industry has set an ambitious target to significantly widen its export offer of high quality fresh, dried, frozen and processed fruits, vegetables, superfoods, grains and other food and drink ingredients.
With both Peruvian cuisine and healthy food in vogue across major consumer markets, and Peru’s agricultural frontier set to expand to 260,000 hectares thanks to mega irrigation projects, the South American country is poised for new growth via a diversified product basket.
“Peru is already highly regarded for fresh produce like asparagus, table grapes, mandarins, clementines, avocados, mangoes, peas, chillies and squash, but we have much more to offer retail, wholesale and foodservice buyers,” reveals Jaime Cardenas, director of the Peru Trade and Investment Office in the UK, which is spearheading the expansion strategy in the UK market.
“In the fresh produce category our blueberry production is rising rapidly, and our pomegranate offer is strengthening too. In two to three years’ time Peruvian blueberry exports will probably be as high as Peru’s current two leading produce export items – avocados and table grapes.”
There is also a cornucopia of smaller volume, speciality and niche products that are emerging from Peru. These can be supplied in fresh, dried, frozen or processed and semi-processed formats, and are ideally suited to the foodservice, ingredient and manufacturing sectors. Many are produced organically too.
They include: ginger, passion fruit, cherimoya, granadilla, lúcuma, prickly pear (cactus fig), golden berries (physalis), peppers (bell, piquillo, jalapeño and cherry), and artichokes. Plus, Peruvian superfoods and grains, such as quinoa, amaranth, chia seeds, cañihua, maca (Peruvian ginseng), yacón, cat’s claw, camu camu, sacha inchi and sangre de grado (dragon's blood), among other plants still scarcely known in other parts of the world.
“Peru is one of the most mega-diverse countries in the world and benefits from numerous ecosystems. That, coupled with the progressive introduction of technology and innovative production and processing methods, means the Peruvian agriculture sector has incredible export potential,” Cardenas explains.
By 2020, Peru plans to triple its horticultural exports to 2.3 million tonnes and more than triple the value of those sendings to US$3.8 billion (£2.5 billion). Considering buyers already have a positive view of Peru, Cardenas says the country’s exporters are eager to build on that reputation as they expand their market presence.
“We are seen as a strong supplier with excellent weather and growing conditions. In fact, Peru has 82 of the 111 climates in the world. Our producers can grow almost anything and they enjoy high yields across a range of agricultural products. There are still a lot of exciting possibilities for buyers to discover!”
Peru on show in London
To promote all Peru has to offer in the produce sector, next month the Peru Trade and Investment Office in the UK will represent the country’s leading produce exporter associations – Agap, Apem, Ipeh, ProCitrus, ProHass, ProVid, ProArándanos and ProGranadas – by exhibiting on Stands 215 & 314 at the third annual London Produce Show and Conference in the UK.
To be held on 8-10 June at the Grosvenor House Hotel in Mayfair, the country’s leading fruit and vegetable supplier Camposol and UK importer Pacific Produce, amongst other suppliers and distributors, will be in attendance.
During the trade fair, Peru will also host a special seminar on 9 June (3.00-4.30pm) to spotlight the exciting new products and ranges the country has to offer the global market. Veteran produce market researcher John Giles, divisional director at Promar International, will present the facts; making particular reference to the opportunities in the UK and Ireland. This will be followed by a panel discussion comprising industry experts in sourcing from Peru.
To register your interest in this seminar, please notify your attendance by email.
UK market presence
Peru is becoming an increasingly relevant source of horticultural supply for the UK and Irish markets. Currently, the UK represents the third-most-important horticultural trading partner for Peru, receiving 8.9% of its fresh produce exports, after only the USA (34.4%) and the Netherlands (20%).
“Over the last five years Peru’s total fresh produce exports to the UK have risen significantly; not only in volume and value terms but also in the variety of Peruvian fresh produce now available on the market,” points out Cardenas.
According to figures from the Peruvian Guild of Fresh Produce Exporters (Agap), volume has expanded by 75% since 2011; from 53,556 tonnes to 93,486 tonnes in 2015. Between 2015 and 2014 alone the volume growth was 12%. The value of Peru’s exports to the UK market has also jumped by 126% from US$88.2m in 2011 to US$199 million last year, which was up 17% on 2014 alone.
Looking ahead, Cardenas sees major UK potential for fresh blueberries and pomegranates from Peru, in particular.
“UK consumers are increasingly concerned about their diet, so the popularity of so-called ‘superfoods’ has grown significantly. And, among the most popular superfoods are blueberries and pomegranate juice.
“Since the UK does not produce any pomegranates, and its blueberry production is limited, UK imports of these products have increased over the last 10 years. At the same time, Peru benefits from Free Trade Agreements with the EU and UK for both fruits. The growth projections for these products are very positive going forward.”
Peru entered the blueberry market in the UK in 2012 with a trial consignment of just under 15 tonnes. Last year that figure had already risen to almost 1,400 tonnes, according to Agap, which was a 371% increase in comparison to 2014.
Peru trade events in 2016
To advance its horticultural profile even further, next month Peru will host the 23rd International Pepper Conference in Trujillo, northern Peru, in recognition of the country's prowess as not only a pepper producer, but the origin of many varieties.
Organised by Peru’s Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism, PromPerú and Adex, among other institutions, the event on 15-17 June will convene the most important names in the bell pepper (capsicum) business.
Later in the year, on 28-30 September, the Peruvian food and drink industry at large will also be out in full force in Lima, Peru, to showcase its wares at Expoalimentaria Perú, which has evolved into the largest international trade show of its kind in the region.
Meet them at the London Produce Show 2016
To learn more about Peru, visit Jaime Cardenas and his team from the Peru Trade and Investment Office in the UK at the London Produce Show and Conference 2016 (Stands 215/314) on 8-10 June at the Grosvenor House Hotel in Mayfair. Discover more about Peru’s range of fresh fruits and vegetables, and find out about sourcing a whole range of agricultural products and ingredients.
For more information:
Tel: +44 (0) 20 3542 6790
Publication date: 5/20/2016
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