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"The idea was born in 1983, but we were unable to do it because the US had restrictions and this fruit was hardly known in Europe"

Gloria Polanco, Guatemala's first avocado exporter

Gloria Polanco, the founder of the Frutas Tropicales, S. A. (Frutesa) company, was the first person to export Guatemalan avocado to Europe. “The idea was born in 1983, when I founded Frutesa, but we were unable to export them because the US had restrictions (work is being done to allow their entry) and this fruit was hardly known in Europe," Gloria stated. “We started when the avocado market in that continent evolved and other countries began to export, although with limitations. We carried out tests in 2008 and 2009 by sending two containers each year. Back then the technology was not as developed as it is now and containers didn't have a modified atmosphere so that the avocado does not ripen in transit.”

“The fruit arrived well but its price over there was very low. It was higher here. Thus, due to lack of profitability, we decided not to continue exporting it. However, in 2016, when the demand was already growing, we were able to install an avocado line and we resumed the dispatches.”

“The shipments took place until the end of 2017, with 4 or 5 containers. In 2018 there was an increase, and we think we'll export 40 containers this year, and a greater number next year.”

"We intend to export the Booth 8 variety, but we must first make test shipments," Gloria Polanco stated.

The United States would represent a much more advantageous destination for Guatemalan avocados. “It is the largest market. It has the highest per capita consumption among the countries that don't produce avocado. Its proximity would also facilitate shipments. It takes the avocado 20 days since they are harvested to reach Europe. Sending them to the US would be more practical,” Gloria concluded.

 

Source: dca.gob.gt


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