Lately, the price of European and American fruit is almost the same as the price of Chilean fruit for Colombian importers. On one hand, the tariff for the European Union countries is at 9% and, thanks to the FTA, there is no tariff on fruit from the United States, on the other hand, imports from Chile, arriving at the port of Buenaventura, and from Europe, that make it to Cartagena, have a very similar cost.

According to Olga Ramirez, from the importing company Vigómez, if the European tariff were eliminated, and it seems that they will be eliminated, the conditions would be the same. These circumstances are leading to a much more competitive ambiance so the exporters must pay attention to the product's quality and to their customer service, which translates into better options for importers.

This is the context in which Vigómez is working. Vigómez is the oldest importer and distributor of fresh fruits of Colombia, which has numerous contacts that it has acquired during the last 45 years in countries such as Chile, United States, France, Italy, Spain and to a lesser extent Argentina and Brazil.

The firm is dedicated exclusively to the importation of foreign products, mainly of apples, pears, peaches, nectarines, plums, kiwis, grapes and cherries, which complement, but don't compete against, the country's supply of native tropical fruit. All of the fruit that the company imports meets the stringent Colombian quality controls and has all of its traceability information, so as to solve any quality or health problem directly with the fruit's producers.

Currently, most of the fresh exotic fruit imported by Colombia comes from Chile, the country's fastest growing supplier. Spain, however, has snatched the American stone market in Colombia, with its peach, nectarine and plum, and is gaining ground thanks to the country's effort to improve their products and packaging. Meanwhile, Peru is the most advanced producer of grapes.

Regarding sales, Olga said the Gala apple and the kiwi had grown considerably and that they were working hard to promote pears and Golden apples, as well as new varieties of seedless grapes in order to diversify the market, currently dominated by 95% by the Red Globe variety.

According to the representative of Vigómez, domestic consumption of these products has grown, in part, thanks to the creation of different types of trade adapted to any purchasing power. Among these are the Fruver stores, which are exclusively devoted to the trade of fruits and vegetables and are increasingly gaining market popularity, especially in Bogota, and have contributed greatly to promote the consumption of fruit and vegetables in Colombia.

For more information:
Olga Ramirez
Tel: (57-1) 452 16 19 - 370 20 88
Mov: 3122956395