Despite the embargo that the United States has placed on pomegranate arils from India, the aril market has been booming. Thanks to plentiful alternative markets, one exporter of Indian arils expects a significant growth, especially in the European market.
With the embargo between the United States and India still in place, Santosh Exports has had plenty of time to improve their infrastructure. Luckily for Abhijeet Sethiya, managing director for Santosh, there have been plenty of other opportunities for the company. “The market is actually booming as of now. We expect to have handled 2500 tons of fruit just for pomegranate arils in 2020. We’ve been exporting these to many European countries, like the United Kingdom, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Switzerland. We intend to increase our markets and will start shipping to Spain and Italy early in the new year. The demand for pomegranate arils in Europe is growing at an immense rate overall. The acceptance of the anti oxidant properties of the fruit has led to its acceptance as a super fruit, which helped this growth in demand.”
Santosh Exports handles the peeling of the pomegranates manually. This means their employees require a special skillset: “It’s been the specialty of Santosh Exports to provide our customers with ‘hand peeled arils’, which requires us to train our employees with precision. This has naturally been a challenge, but thanks to consistent trainings we feel our labor has achieved the desired expertise.” Sethiya explains.
Abhijeet Sethiya visiting the FreshPlaza stand during Fruit Attraction 2019
Thanks to the growing demand, Suhas Sethiya, the Chairman of Santosh Exports, feels the pomegranate arils will soon by an every day commodity all over the world. “The increase of our volumes over the past twelve years is insane. We started out shipping out one, maybe two tons every week. Now we have individual clients ordering 100 tons in the same period. It means we’ll have to stay on top of our game in the years to come. Luckily our new pack house will give us the advantage over many of our competitors. Prices have been consistent, so we know what we can expect in this market. We’re headed towards some interesting years!”