Brazil: Purple fig season will start soon
“Our fig season will start in about a week from now and will last till August. The weather circumstances are always our greatest challenge, especially in a tropical country. This year we faced some lack of rain in August and September, which delayed the start of the season a little. Nonetheless, we are positive about the coming season. The quality of the figs is good and we work hard to achieve a very nice brix level. In addition, we expect an improvement in production volumes”, starts Denise Braga from Euroconte Brazil.
She explains that the Brazilian variety is called Purple fig. “This variety differs from other fig varieties, because as they got best adjusted to the specific growing conditions in the Southeast of Brazil. The country has a tropical climate, but with special weather conditions in the Southeast region of Brazil. The growing circumstances are strongly influenced by the Amazon Rain Forest and the phenomenon called Flying Rivers. These are described as invisible flying rivers from water vapor.” Yet, Denise adds that it might be useful to have some trials of other varieties. For example, one that is more resistant to drought, as water has become a major issue in agriculture all over the world.
“Our main export market is Europe and some volume to the Middle East and Canada. Figs are exported by air and every step in the entire logistic chain requires extra attention to have figs arriving in good conditions. We`ve been exporting figs for over 25 years and we have developed a strict check-list which allows us to get a very nice performance across the entire logistic chain, from the field to the importers facilities. The Brazilian domestic market of figs is huge, however, due to the many growers there is a big supply as well. Euroconte doesn't supply the local market, only the international market”, explains Denise Braga.
Brazilian figs have competition from Israel and Peru only, as Turkey has the counter season of Brazil, mostly from August till November explains Denise. “It’s difficult to say in the beginning of the season how competition will affect the market. It`s a wide range of factors that may influence how competition will perform and have an impact on us.” She continues that the market didn't change too much over the years. “Competition is there and this is what makes us at Euroconte to look ahead, to achieve higher goals, to improve all our standards, to improve our agricultural practices in order to meet the highest demands addressed by the countries we supply.”
In 2015 UNECE published a review on the UNECE standard 2014 edition, which defines the non-allowance of the presence of any visual substance on any fresh produce. “This rule is applied to fresh produce in general, not just for figs. Since then, Brazilian figs that are produced for export purposes are produced without the use of copper sulphate. This has been a huge change in the crop management of all growers who decided to keep exporting. Besides growers and staff that had to adapt to this new way of producing, as well the crop itself needed to get adjusted to such a change. In the beginning, we noticed some impact on the trees performance, but we trust that we have overcome this stage.”
Denise concludes: “Over the years Euroconte turned all its farms to highly bio-management facilities, achieving the highest sustainable level that was possible to achieve so far. This is an ongoing process. Being a GlobalG.A.P. certified farm for figs you are permanently working on the improvements as it is part of the Management System proposed by GlobalG.A.P. which is an incredible tool. We look forward to the season 2017/2018.”
For more information:
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Publication date: 11/6/2017
Author: Kelly den Herder
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