In recent years Guatemala has started taking careful steps into the citrus market. The country wants to compete with other Latin American countries, especially in the export of limes.
The company Ixin Quesal from Guatemala has been around for five years. Owner Judith Quevedo has export experience to the US. She has also started exporting to Europe. Those first experiences were not very good: the prices were disappointing and the customers did not meet their guarantees, but she persevered: Ixin Quesal is hell bent on exporting high quality limes, preferably to Europe. But does Guatemala stand a chance on a market which has been dominated by Brazil and Mexico so far?
Piet Schotel is an outside advisor and he is stimulating export in developing countries within the AGRO FOOD programme. At the moment he is helping Judith Quevedo's company to find their way to Europe again and to sell the products for a good price. "We want them to do well, and we can only do this by supplying a good product in the right packaging paired with the right logistic route. This is a challenge! Sometimes it's a long wait for new, young companies like Ixin Quesal. Guatemala isn't really known for its limes. The biggest competitors on this market are Brazil and Mexico. But according to Piet Schotel there is space for a new player, as long as they meet the conditions mentioned above, and can supply the same quality all year round."
Last year, by way of a test, he linked Judith to Schrijvershof Ltd from Oud-Beijerland and this has gone well. The areas of improvement have been worked on. "The fruit was of good quality but the packaging and logistics process could have been better. After various visits and a number of adjustments, Ixin Quesal picked it up quickly and these issues have now been resolved."
Schotel has faith in Ixin Quesal after this new start. "They persevere and keep looking for ways to improve, which we value. They are very happy with the help that Schijvershof and I offered and are prepared to learn even more."