Peru faces challenge of developing Andean berries

According to the CEO of Sierra Exportadora, Alfonso Velasquez, the blueberries were Sierra Exportadora's starting point for producing and exporting berries, but the challenge is also to develop raspberries, blackberries, strawberries and Andean berries. 

The company's goal is to reach the European, American, and Asian markets, which are increasingly more aware of the nutritional potential of these species, their antioxidant qualities, and their intense and unique flavors, he said during the first day of the V Berries and Cherries International Seminar.

In turn, the head of the Sierra Exportadora's Peru Berries Program, William Daga, said Peru had no geographical limitations to develop berries, and that blueberry, raspberry, and strawberry crops in Peru would continue to grow; just as the asparagus, citrus, avocado and grape crops had done before.

He also stated that this program boosted the production of berries in the regions of Junin, Cajamarca, Apurimac Cusco, Arequipa, Lambayeque, and Ancash.

Meanwhile, Velasquez said that the future generation were interested in consuming nutraceutical food, which apart from nourishing people also had benefits for human health.

Therefore, Sierra Exportadora is interested in promoting investment in the Peruvian highlands to consolidate a sustainable supply aimed at those markets, which can become a cost effective alternative for small, medium, and large producers.

He stated that this promotion was supported by innovation, quality, technology transfer, and financing that ensures the production is competitive in the global market and allows small producers to benefit from it.

"In addition, this will prevent the boom in agricultural exports from being just a boom; making it a sustainable activity that benefits all regions of the country," he said.

He voiced that there was a potential for 520 million consumers of berries in Europe, 280 million in the United States, and 2,000 million in Asia, the same that were currently consuming berries produced in Spain, England and the Netherlands.

In that regard, he said that Sierra Exportadora's challenge was to link small and medium Andean enterprises (SMEs) with corporate exporting companies, so this production in the mountains could become massive and producers could take advantage of the growing conditions in the area.


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