Financial woes worsen for Mendoza growers

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Financial woes worsen for Mendoza growers

Fruit production in the Argentine province of Mendoza has fallen this year while many farmers have recorded losses due to higher costs, website reported.

The season has hit the halfway mark with pome fruit farmers in particular exporting less than the same period in 2010, but it will be next season that growers and packers are hit hard by the lack of income in the sector, the story reported.

Mendoza Fresh Fruit Producers and Exporters Association (ASPEFF) president Juan Rivera, told the website while quality remained high the sector struggled both financially and logistically.

"The problems have been accumulating in recent seasons, and the fact is this year deals weren't made in a timely manner; fruit business must be handled on time with anticipation, not on the hour, because it's not reasonable that the producer has the uncertainty of not knowing what will happen with their fruit one or two weeks before the harvest," Rivera was quoted as saying.

"It's not reasonable that a packing house doesn't have a working program or know what fruit it will take.

"The costs are going up the elevator and prices are taking the stairs."

Rivera said in late-2010, a week before harvest, Mendoza's major fruit destination market Brazil was 'totally saturated with goods', from the Argentine province of Río Negro, as well as Portugal, Spain, Italy and the U.S.

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