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Sierra Exportadora

"Peru: "Opportunities in cherry prodcution"

As part of its national program, Sierra Exportadora presented cherry production as the new business opportunity in the Peruvian highlands.

"Speaking about berries in Peru no longer refers only to blueberries. Now our production and marketing offer includes cherries," said the president of Sierra Exportadora, Alfonso Velasquez, during the launch of this business opportunity.

Cherries are one of the most profitable berries in the world and their market price in China is three times higher than that of grapes. This is a business opportunity for people in the Andean region of the country. The idea is to insert small producers in the market and improve their income.

"Peru is living a new era in the fruit sector. There's a boom in berries, and Sierra Exportadora is betting on the cherry, as statistics show that there is a large market demand for this fruit and that it is extremely profitable," he said.

According to the FAO, the global area planted with cherry trees in 2012 exceeded 400,000 hectares; however, production has not grown more than 1% in the last two years.

"There was only a slight increase of 4.2% between 2010 and 2012, equivalent to an increase of 16,133 hectares," he said.

Turkey remains the country with the largest area planted with cherry trees worldwide, with 48,000 hectares (12%); followed by United States, with 35,000 hectares (9%), and Italy with 27,000 hectares (7%).

Cherry prices in the international market are high ($2.79 and $3.70 dollars per kilogram). The cherries are considered the berries with the most nutrients and proteins and their consumption is necessary for human health.

Velasquez said that this new proposal of producing cherries was a business opportunity for small producers who must accompany Peruvian exporters in their vision.

He reiterated that Peru, between the months of September and November, still had the competitive advantage of its commercial window, for the production of cherries.

During a presentation about the cherry's potential and prospects in the region, Chilean expert, Felipe Rosas, from R. Consulting, said Cajamarca an Junin were the areas that had the potential to produce cherries in Peru because of their favourable weather conditions for this crop.

The CEO of EXPA Fruit, Pablo Godoy Carter, who made a presentation about the prospects and business opportunities for cherries, stated that China, and the Asian countries in general, had the highest demand for cherries in the market, especially during the Chinese New Year.

He recommended creating a culture, not only for cherry production in Peru, but also for its consumption. "We must promote cherries so that they are included in the population's daily diet," he said.

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