After 11 years of negotiations, on November 5th, the US authorized the entry of Ecuadorian cape gooseberry in its market. The Golden Sweet Spirit company will make the first shipment, which will consist of more than 3,500 kilograms of the fruit grown in Machachi (Pichincha) and will reach the markets of New York, Los Angeles, and Miami.
Company executives highlighted that the joint work between the public and private sectors had allowed opening the US market. They also highlighted the design of a policy to control and monitor the fruit fly in the production areas, as well as the work carried out to verify exporters comply with the phytosanitary requirements of the destination countries, the request for inspections, and the collaboration with the Animal and Plant Health Regulation and Control Agency (Agrocalidad).
Golden Sweet Spirit isn't the only company devoted to the cultivation and marketing of cape gooseberries; other important firms, such as Terra Equa and Biolcom, are also in this business. So far this year, Ecuador has certified more than 13 tons of fresh fruit for export which will be sent to 41 destinations in America, Europe, and Asia. In addition to fresh fruit, the country also sells dehydrated fruit and jam.
This Andean fruit has a high content of antioxidants, vitamin A and C, and secondary metabolites that help prevent degenerative diseases, cancer, and diabetes, among other diseases. According to Golden, it is also a product that fits perfectly into family farming and circular economy concepts: it is a native plant that can be produced under the highest standards of sustainability and helps mitigate global warming. "This activity is currently allowing small producers to create rural enterprises and income for their communities." It is a tool to improve the standard of living for producers that grow their products 2,000 to 3,200 meters above sea level.