Guatemala: Export of peas to Europe stopped by rainy season

Frutesa, Guatemalan company with decades of experience in the export of snow peas, stopped shipments because Guatemala is currently undergoing its annual rainy period and they wouldn’t be able to guarantee the product’s quality or satisfactory lifespan.

In the words of Gloria Elena Polanco, president and founder of the company, "we hope to come back in five or six weeks, but it depends on the international situation as Peru, the market that is currently catering to Europe, experienced some very strong frost so its possible that we may receive a higher demand before time."

The snow pea, known in Europe as mange tout, account for 85% of Frutesa‘s exports. Even though there’s no tradition of consumption of snow peas within the country, the plant was introduced in Guatemala because of the county’s rich volcanic soil and its highland’s climate suitability as a means to participate in the global economy. Unlike most companies that grow this plant, which focus on the US market, Frutesa decided to focus on Europe. 

Despite the recession, prices in Europe have remained at good levels this year and there have been no sales declines, as a matter of fact, according to Gloria, all the importers who have agreements for the season that is about to start to increase the volumes they had agreed on.

The company works exclusively with small farmers, about 500, grouped into 30 contracts. Frutesa was born with the goal of linking small producers from the highlands with consumers from the major world markets, thus making it profitable for farmers to produce, not only as a benefit for both parties, but also as a source of prosperity for the country.

Frutesa has agronomists in different geographical areas where they act as a link with the association of each area and control phytosanitary applications with the aid of an agreement with Bayer CropScience. Producers, as a group, have GlobalGAP certification, undergo annual inspections, and ensure the product’s traceability through codes.

The company plans to attend an agricultural meeting in Huehuetenango within two weeks. The Guatemalan Exporters Association, a development agency that seeks to add value to Guatemalan products in any sector, is organizing the meeting. People capable of organizing producer groups and negotiating the best prices in the international market, standards that Frutesa has championed since it was founded, will be attending the meeting.

For more information:
Gloria Elena Polanco
Tel: + 502 2245-5100

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