The executive president of Sierra and Selva Exportadora, Alfonso Velasquez Tuesta, said that global consumption of dehydrated fruits would reach 4 million tons in 2020, due to the global tendency to consume natural and healthy foods that fight obesity and the greater awareness of health care. As such, dehydrated fruits have become a new potential export product, according to Global Industry Analysts (GIA), one of the most prestigious market research firms in the world.
Sierra y Selva Exportadora successfully gave a seminar on How to Add Value to Discarded Fruits and Berries, last Thursday in the auditorium of the Chamber of Commerce of Lima. They also presented this seminar during the second half of October in their Decentralized Centers in the north of the country (La Libertad, Cajamarca and Lambayeque), between October 17 and 21.
In December 2015, when Sierra y Selva Exportadora launched its Distilled program, the entity stated that Peru produced 1.6 million tons of fruit, 160 thousand tons of which were lost due to a lack of added value programs. "Now, not only could that amount be derived to produce distillates, but also to transform all that quantity into quality dehydrated fruit and position them in the markets of Europe, Asia and North America," he said.
Velasquez Tuesta, who is currently in Spain participating in the Peru 2017 Forum Salon international event, said that Europe was definitely the potential market for exports of dehydrated fruit.
"In Spain alone, consumption of dehydrated fruit increased by 33% during the 2013 - 2014 period; estimates are that their current consumption has grown by 50%," he said.
According to the GIA 2014 study, the United States is one of the world's leading buyers of dehydrated fruit (pineapple, mango, peach, aguaymanto, berries) as it accounts for 12.9% of total imports. It is followed by the German market (8.8%), the Russian market (5.8%), the Dutch market (5.6%), and the United Kingdom (5.4%).
The main buyers of mixed dehydrated fruits (two or more fruits) are: the United Kingdom (18.8% of total imports), Kazakhstan (11.7%), Germany (9.8%), France (8.1%) and Belgium (5.5).
As a result of this encouraging data on global demand, Sierra and Selva Exportadora (SSE) will provide all the technical support regarding the dehydration of fruits and berries to the country's fruit and agroindustrial sector. This entity, which has identified the export potential of dehydrated fruits, is one of the state agencies that has bet on investing in productive improvements and innovative products and formats with great demand in the market since 2011.
The entity of the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, has brought the French expert Jean-Yves Cadalen, to give 5 days of theoretical and practical training to more than 650 people in Trujillo, Cajamarca, Lambayeque, and Lima that are interested in this new way of adding value to waste fruits and berries.
The expert stated that, unlike other countries, such as Turkey and France, that are devoted to the dehydration of fruits; Peru had all the climatic conditions (temperature, air speed, humidity) to dry and dehydrate fruit and berries, which gave the country an advantage over its competitors in this aspect.
He encouraged producers to bet on this new type of business, as there is a global consumption trend for natural, healthy, and nutritious foods.
"The demand for pure and organic products in the northwest of Europe continues to rise. The dehydrated fruit is one of these products, thanks to the absence of additives or preservatives in its preparation," the specialist added.
It should be noted that the goal of the seminar, organised by Sierra and Selva Exportadora, is to add value to the discarded harvested product through a sustainable approach and innovation, and that one of the best alternatives to discarding the harvested fruits is dehydrating them, as global consumption of healthy foods has increased in the last five years.