Colombia exploits cape gooseberries much better than Peru

Cape gooseberries are native to Peru, however this country doesn't exploit them commercially as well as other countries. A clear example is Colombia, which presented this berry at the Milan Exhibition of 2015 as one of its star products. Colombia has been exporting this fresh fruit without cold treatment to the United States for the past 12 years, which allows companies to save up to 40% in export costs. 

According to estimates, each year Colombia sells between 5,000 and 6,000 tons of cape gooseberries. Their main destinations are Europe and the United States. In fact, it is that country's second most exported fruit, after bananas. In 2016 exports amounted to US $23.6 million.

How much does Peru export? According to estimates, in the same period Peruvian exports of cape gooseberries amounted to US $2.5, a pale figure compared with that of Colombia. 

Dayana Molina, a spokesperson for Inti Harvest, said that Peru hadn't fully committed to fresh exports and preferred to export the product canned, even though there is a great opportunity in the market as demonstrated by the Colombian experience. However, there are signs that indicate that the picture may be changing for the better.

"Cape gooseberry exports increased by more than 400% from 2015 to 2016, which means there are more producers and consumers. It used to be a wild fruit of the Andes and had no technical accompaniment. Nowadays, there is demand for this product from abroad. The advantage we have over Colombia, which is the leading exporter of fresh cape gooseberries, is that we can produce it all year round thanks to the water and different types of soils and climate we have, which allow us to offer a very sweet fruit that is well received abroad," she said. 

The United States is the main export destination for Peruvian cape gooseberries, as it accounts for 35% of purchases. It is followed by the Netherlands (24%), Germany (15%), Canada (14%), Japan (6%) and other minor destinations that together account for 6% of the total. The most promising markets are Japan, Germany, and Canada, as they had a high increase in consumption during 2016. 

The goal is for cape gooseberries become the second most important Peruvian export berry, after blueberries. 


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