The weather in Brazil last year has resulted in slightly lower volumes of Tahiti lime during the start of this harvesting season. Breno Casquet of ActuaTrade shares: “The climate conditions in Brazil lately have not been favorable. The unstable conditions in 2020 and the dry weather resulted in lower volumes of limes. However, the expectation is that the volumes will normalize by April or May.”
ActuaTrade works with a group of independent growers from different regions who supply them with Tahiti limes. “We are the packer/exporter,” says Casquet. “Our packing house, Boa Esperança, is located in Itajobí, São Paulo. We conform to the principles of Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) and are equipped with post-harvest technology which is a critical component to bringing added value, quality and safety management to our supply chain,” he explains.
Working toward year-round production
While Brazil is able to produce Tahiti limes year-round, ActuaTrade has chosen to supply them from the start of December through June-July. “It is possible to provide limes throughout the year, but we have seen that the quality goes down in the second half of the year. That is why for us the harvest starts in the beginning of December and goes until June or July; we prefer to keep our recognized quality of limes that we see during the first half of the year,” says Casquet.
ActuaTrade is currently working on building their own lime production to ensure that the quality stays high throughout the year, allowing them to supply the limes year-round. “We are looking forward to expanding our markets and guaranteeing our service, which is why we are working on a project to grow our own limes. This should allow us to be able to provide our product with consistent quality throughout the year,” says Casquet.
Good season expected this year
2020 was a difficult year for many, and some products were more affected than others by the closure of foodservice establishments – such as limes. But fortunately for ActuaTrade, the company had solid partnerships in place that allowed them to circumvent the majority of the challenges faced by other companies.
Casquet shares: “The consumption of limes in the bars and restaurants went down in Europe during the pandemic, and this directly affected the volume of the sales potential. After a short period, however, the situation normalized in the summer. Due to our consolidated exporting operations – established in 2005 – our solid partnership in Europe has not had logistical or other kinds of challenged in the 2020 season.”
For now, ActuaTrade’s main export market is the Netherlands, but they are looking to expand this year. “We are working on reaching and consolidating our product operations in other European markets, such as Italy, Spain and the UK,” says Casquet. He is expecting a good season this year: “There should be good scenarios this season, as we will reach new markets and work to consolidate our own lime production which will be added to our supply chain next season,” he says. Additionally, ActuaTrade is conducting trials for organic Tahiti limes, hoping to add these to their portfolio soon to meet the need of possible future clients.
The Boa Esperança brand, under which ActuaTrade has been supplying their limes since 2005, has both the Global GAP and GRASP certificates. “Our limes are recognized for their quality not just in Brazil but also in our clients in the Netherlands. Now, we are expecting to reach and expand our markets, and we are looking forward to a great next season,” Casquet concludes.
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