According to the the Association of Agricultural Producers Guild (Agap), as a result of the strong and sustained demand for Peruvian fruit and vegetables in Russia, Peru is currently considered Russia's main South American supplier of high quality fresh produce.

Agap's executive director, Ana Maria Deustua, remarked that Russia's decision to suspend its food imports from the United States and the European Union has represented a great opportunity for Latin America, as in the case of Peru.

"This has allowed Peru to develop high quality products, and the Russians are currently considering us as their main supplier of high quality fruit and vegetables. We are growing at an average of 10 million dollars a year; and these new developments will allow us to further increase shipments due to demand increasing strongly," she said.

Deustua stated that fresh fruit exports to the Russian market between January and June this year had grown by 16 percent, so they expected they would amount to $80 million dollars by the end of 2014.

Exports of fresh pomegranates and citrus fruit had the highest increases by June, 44 percent and 73 percent, respectively, compared to what was recorded between January and June 2013, when they grew 29 percent and 4 percent each.

Even though grapes are in demand from the Peruvian horticulture supply, it's the citrus fruits that are at the top the popularity list on the Russian market," she said.

"Our fruits are mostly directed to Moscow and St. Petersburg, as we have the capacity to meet the Russian market in both cities more quickly," she added.

According to Deustua, the Russian population depends heavily on imports of various fruits, nutrients, vitamins, and other products because the weather conditions in Russia are very strong for several months a year.

Thus, she stated, there is huge potential in Russia for Peru to double its fruit and vegetable shipments within a period of three years.

"Results will be positive for the following years. Shipments will double if we keep promoting and distributing properly. We've made some approximations and we have found that there is a high demand. We just need to develop links in these times of growth with high quality products," she said.

Deustua recalled that Peru didn't export any fruit or vegetables to Russia five years ago. At the beginning, our exports only amounted to one million dollars and last year we sold a total of 53 million dollars in horticultural exports to that market, she said.

"A greater increase of shipments means there will be more rural development. Thus, the quality of life and the quality of products for export will increase. We are currently working on developing a modern, technologically advanced, high quality agriculture to reach all international markets," she said.

Finally, she stated that the Eurofruit Congress Southern Hemisphere 2014 would be held, for the second time, in Peru on the 6th and 7th of November. The event will bring together the leading industries of fresh fruit and vegetables, and will be visited by nearly 250 international delegates.