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Peru: Table grapes from Cascas to be sold in Tottus supermarkets

Lima's Tottus supermarket will market a total of 20 tons of table grapes from the Producers Association San Gabriel de Cascas, from the province of Gran Chimu, in La Libertad, for the first time next year, thanks to the intervention of Sierra and Selva Exportadora, an entity of the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation (Minagri). 

According to Sierra and Selva Exportadora, Tottus will market three grape varieties: 10 tons of Red Globe grapes, 5 tons of Gross Collman grapes, and 5 tons of Italian grapes. 

The president of the association of producers, Fernando Alvarez, said that they received support and advice from Sierra and Selva Exportadora to install the first table grape packing facility in Cascas in December 2015. Now, he said, his members have been receiving technical assistance in crop management, quality control, as well as Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), and grape pruning, which has allowed them to improve their production by 50%.

"84% of our production goes to Ecuador; however we've been meaning to sell in the supermarkets in Lima for a few years. Now, thanks to the support of Sierra and Selva Exportadora we've achieved this articulation that we hope will be the beginning of other business opportunities," said Alvarez.

He said that the producers of Cascas had been trained in Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) to be applied in the fields of grapes for export, as well as in the grape's traceability to ensure production quality.

"We are pleased with the achievements we've obtained so far, but we are waiting for the Senasa to perform a residue analysis of our grape production so we can open another, much more interesting market," said Fernando Alvarez.

On November 21, the Decentralized Headquarters of Sierra and Selva Exportadora in La Libertad and the National Hass Avocado and Other Fruits Program, conducted a training session for business management in the foreign markets, focusing on the European market. The goal of the training was to improve the competitiveness of producers so that they can venture into new markets.

According to data from Sunat, in 2015, La Libertad was the fifth biggest exporter of grapes in the country, whose FOB value amounted to US $ 17,659,281 with a 2.6 percent stake. In volume, La Libertad ranked fourth, with 16.4 million kilograms.

According to the Association of Table Grape Producers of Peru (PROVID), this fruit is the country's main agricultural exports and shipments are projected to increase by nearly 12% this season (2016/2017) over the previous season, when they amounted to 288,000 tons.

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