Exquisita is a Mexican company located in Puebla that is dedicated to the cultivation of Persian lime, among other products. It has 250 acres and 40 associate producers. According to Carlos Zarain, from Exquisita, the firm has 15 years experience in exporting to Europe, from Portugal to the Eastern countries, with all the logistics organized from the Netherlands.
Zarain stated that, unlike last year, the hurricane season had been mild and had come to an end without seriously affecting them. "We are now looking forward to the start of the winter season, but overall there has been a very good harvest, very good volumes and we expect to have a good production throughout the coming year."
It's a very different situation from last season, when the rains from hurricanes caused the fall of flowering in February's harvest and the production volumes declined 30% having a big impact on prices.
Exquisita produces fruit throughout the year, with production peaks between May and July, but with stable volumes. "What marks our export volumes is competition; if Brazil increases its volumes, prices fall and we have to lower shipments, but when there is a shortage we use the opportunity to send more fruit, "Carlos said.
Regarding consumption, Carlos said he believed there was an increasing acceptance of lime and more uses for it, which reflected in its demand. "In addition to cocktails, it is being used for salads and other dishes and consumers have perceived its health benefits. In Europe, it has gone from being an exotic product to an everyday product in 10 years and our weekly shipments have tripled."
Another positive aspect for Mexican producers of lime is the variety of markets they can access. Carlos says that, "the US and Canada are very close, as well as Japan and Korea, so if the Euro falls, we can redirect the fruit to destinations that are more profitable for us. For Europe, we are more rigorous with the selection to ensure that the fruit arrives in good condition."
Regarding trends, he stated, "we have noticed that the consumer is looking for a product that is as natural as possible, so we try to focus on that, while trying to be competitive. We have also introduced smaller packaging and products combined with lime, including sauces for everyday use, "concluded Carlos Zarain.