For the last five years, Belgium has been the second largest importer of organic bananas worldwide, only behind the United States. In 2017, it had a positive variation of +13.48% over the previous year. The volume imported - also during 2017 - increased by +9.65%. Its average growth rate during the 2013-2017 period was +0.17%.
This, according to a recent report about the organic banana'market in Belgium by Promperu's Market Intelligence Department.
According to the report, in 2017 the consultant GFK Belgium conducted a market study on that country's consumption of organic foods and beverages, where they discovered a 6% growth in this area.
"Fruits, vegetables and potatoes represent 40% of the expenditure on organic products. In addition, according to Euromonitor, imports of these products in Belgium had an average growth rate of +0.92% in the 2012-2016 period. The proportion of people who consume organic food increased during the last year and nowadays 90% of Belgians buy at least one organic product once a year," the report states.
It also states that the supermarkets were the main purchasing channel for organic products and that food, especially organic, is one of the most prosperous economic sectors in the Belgian market. It recognizes that although there was a fall in imports between 2014 and 2015, from 2016 onwards, the trend was positive for organic bananas.
Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Cameroon and Ivory Coast are the Belgian market's main suppliers of organic bananas, accounting for 80% of all imports, and registering a 15.48% positive variation of sales in 2017, when compared to the previous year.
Making a comparison between Peru and Colombia, Belgium's most important supplier, the study identifies that both countries have similar climates and can manage to produce the whole year. However, in the Peruvian case, the highest production concentrates between January and April, which helps having a safe flow of supply.
Peru ships the product by sea and air to Belgium. In the first case, it arrives at the port of Antwerp after a crossing of 26 days. These trips take place on a weekly basis. Air shipments depart from the Jorge Chavez airport on a daily basis and take 35 hours to arrive at Brussels' airport.
According to Promperu's report, Peruvian organic banana exports have been growing in volume during the last five years consecutively, achieving an average growth rate of +13.05% in the 2013-2017 period.
The export FOB value has also been growing during the last years, with the exception of 2017, when there was a slight drop in prices. However - it states - the average growth rate of the FOB value in the 2013-2017 period is +13.75%, thanks to the dynamism achieved by this product abroad.
"In addition, the number of exporting companies grew from 39 in 2013 to 56 in 2017; the main countries of destination were the Netherlands, the United States, and Germany," it states.
Belgium ranks as the fourth most important destination for Peruvian organic banana exports, with values of US $7.6 million in 2017. In addition, it recorded an average growth rate of +0.66% in the 2013-2017 period.