The leaders of the newly constituted fruit corporation, Frutas de Argentina, which brings together the chambers of producers and exporters of citrus fruits (Federcitrus), pears and apples (CAFI), cherries (CAPCI), and blueberries (ABC), have held a meeting with the Minister of Production, Dante Sica, to warn him about the strong deterioration of exports and the difficulty of small and medium producers to survive in the Argentine macroeconomic scheme. The corporation suggested imitating Peru's model to recover the lost ground.
In the meeting, the spokespeople of Frutas de Argentina told the Minister that the sector generates some 176,000 jobs, has productions in more than 10 regional economies, exports added value products to more than 70 countries, and generates nearly 2 billion dollars in turnover (1.446 billion in exports and 650 million in the domestic market). In spite of this, in the last ten years, Argentina reduced its fruit exports by 50%, reducing shipments by nearly 750 thousand tons per year.
The sharp decline in exports also explains many of the price problems there are in different regional economies, especially for citrus and pip fruits, as the surpluses in supply that could not be sold abroad were sent to the saturated domestic market.
According to Frutas de Argentina the decrease in exports is due to the existence of withholdings or taxes on exports, the reduction of withdrawals, inflation, the dollar in arrears, labor costs, energy tariffs, high logistics costs, and a lack of trade agreements that would allow reducing import tariffs in different markets, among other issues.
The fruit growers recommended imitating Peru, a country that has become a fruit power. This performance was based above all on Law 27360, which promotes the agricultural sector and entered into force in January 2001. Since it entered into force, Peruvian exports of agricultural products multiplied by nine and export of non-traditional products (such as asparagus or blueberries) increased by 13 times. Peru went from exporting vegetables for 634 million dollars in 2001 to 5.795 billion dollars in 2017.
The legal package demanded by the fruit-growing sector includes a series of reforms to the labor and tax fields that promote cheap financing for the replacement of varieties, minimizing climatic risk, and that supports internal logistics.