The social instability, blockades, and mobilizations in Peru have greatly impacted its agricultural sector. The data for January exports will only be available in the coming weeks, but different businessmen, such as Dario Nuñez, the general manager of Uvica, have already advanced that the situation has been devastating for their grape export company.
“Last year, we exported 2.9 million boxes worldwide in week 4 (of January). This year, in the same week, we exported 126,000 boxes. That's only 4% of what we exported in the same week last year,” he said. “Not to mention all the damage that has been done to the country for the non-compliance of programs,” Nuñez added.
The impossibility of making shipments has prevented the grapes from reaching destinations in the United States and Europe, including Mercadona (Spain). This has generated concern in the sector as customers could decide to change suppliers. Thus, he said, Peru would no longer be the leading global supplier of table grapes.
“This is a business of trust, of compliance. If this is the third time we don't comply with our orders, the final buyer, which could be a supermarket chain anywhere in the world, will look to other countries,” he said.
The protests and blockades are also having an important social impact. January is one of the most important months of the grape harvest and the protests and blockades have endangered the source of income of thousands of workers.
“We were working with 1,700 people on the farm, but in general there is talk that there may be between 100,000 and 110,000 workers dedicated to grapes,” Nuñez stated.
“We are not talking about a one-day issue, the fields have been paralyzed for more than 20 days. Farmers can't enter their farms to work. And this is the season of the year when they receive the best income. In ICA alone there are about 80,000 people who today will not have the additional income they have in the rest of the year,” added Alfonso Bustamante Canny, a businessman from Cerro Prieto.