Lionel Arce, the general manager of Complejo Agroindustrial Beta, the leading Peruvian asparagus export company, said the company planned to open a commercial office in Valencia, Spain, in partnership with the Hermanos Jimenez firm, with which the company has been working for more than 20 years. “We are going to market the product lines we handle in the southern part of Europe, Italy, Spain, and France. We have business partners in Italy and Spain, but we want to manage all the growth through this office.”
Arce said the company was interested in the regions of Majes, Tacna, and Moquegua, which are free of the fruit fly, and that they had already begun tests there. "We are doing tests around Majes to cultivate cherry trees. We have been working on the first tests for a year and a half, but we also have to look at some varietal replacement for asparagus production."
Regarding the internalization of the company, Arce said: “I look at Morocco with much more expectation because it is earlier than Europe, it's very similar to Peru. In autumn and spring, it is very similar to Ica. Mexico has always been a very interesting site; It has a slightly inward policy, but it is very complementary.”
Speaking about their short-term investments, he said, “we have a new 450-hectare project in an area near Nasca, with the possibility of expansion. There, we want to basically work with blueberries and we are doing some tests with cherries. We believe that will be the next product that will begin to strongly enter the basket. We are going to invest around 60,000 dollars per hectare. In total, about 25 million dollars."
He also spoke about Complejo Agroindustrial Beta's plans for their portfolio. “We have positioned ourselves as the first large asparagus freezers in the country and have some 2,600 hectares in production. This position will be reinforced with the inauguration of the third tunnel at the base of operations in Jayanca. This new tunnel will allow us to enter other frozen products, such as avocado, cranberry, and mango; it's a line we'll be able to run in the coming years.”
Regarding the company's blueberry and avocado strategy, Arce announced: "We have blueberries in the north, in Jayanca, and in the south, in Ica, where we are closing 300 hectares. Next year we should be exporting the volume of 1,000 hectares. In avocado, we have made a replacement for citrus areas in 100 hectares. In addition, in Olmos, we have 550 hectares. We are not the largest exporters, but we will be close to 800 hectares."
“As for the political crisis, we need the agrarian promotion law to be enacted, that this is something that Congress - which at the moment is not working - failed to raise to the Executive for promulgation, which is what all of us in the sector need. We're unable to make investment plans for 2021 if we don't have a clear scenario,” Arce stated.