Peru is known as an important supplier of fruit and vegetable products in Europe. According to Peru's Commercial Economic Counselor in Spain, Joan Manuel Barrena Chavez, Peru has positioned itself in Spain as an important supplier of asparagus, but it is also recognized as a producer and exporter of avocado, mango, and grapes.
Peru's challenge is to continue diversifying its exportable offer, Chavez stated, highlighting that the so-called 'ethnic' products have potential in European markets. “These are products that the Peruvian community in Europe misses, such as the olluco, lucuma, purple corn, or chili peppers. They have potential because they are still exported in small quantities. The consumption and demand for these products will grow as the penetration of Peruvian restaurants and gastronomy grows in Spain and in the rest of Europe," he stated.
Peruvian gastronomy is already important in Spain but not throughout Europe, Chavez said. Thus, the challenge is to spread it so that the products are better known and the products, which are currently only used in Peruvian restaurants, are introduced into the menus of Spanish restaurants, for instance. Before the pandemic, one could find ollucos in some Spanish restaurants, just as the quinoa, ceviche, and pisco sour, among other Peruvian products, are already more easily found outside Peruvian restaurants.
Barrena also said that Spanish consumers were not as willing to pay higher prices for organic products as consumers in Germany, Switzerland, South Korea, Japan. However, he stressed, the world is migrating towards healthier consumption and more sustainable activities and Spaniards are aware of this, which is why they are increasingly more familiar with consuming organic products.
The Commercial Economic Counselor of Peru in Spain highlighted some European regulations, such as the new Common Agricultural Policy (PAC) and the Green Pact, which promote sustainable production. In this regard, he said that the countries of the European Union have committed to reaching a significant level of organic production by 2025, a positive measure for Peru as it will grant its organic production access to the EU.
"The more organic products that they produce, the more organic products that they'll consume. That will increase our possibilities, especially in the off-season, when local production ends. It's a market that could be supplied with the Peruvian products," he said.