Mexican papaya planting grows to meet European, Japanese demand

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Mexican papaya planting grows to meet European, Japanese demand

Mexican company Red Star plans to expand its papaya plantations to meet strong demand in Europe, where phytosanitary challenges have been overcome with a regular weekly supply of 6-12 metric tons (MT). Royal Star Papaya small _ Royalstarpapaya com

In a release from industry association Propapaya, Red Star partner Nazario Rodríguez Guerra said his business currently ships the variety Royal Star to markets such as Spain and Portugal, but volumes were still not high enough.

"Every week we are regularly sending between 6-12MT, however this amount of shipments still does not satisfy the European market which is already asking for double what is currently exported," said the Colima-based company executive.

"The quantity of papayas we currently export does not depend on the market or what the cliente needs, but our production capacity because we are now still limited, and on the other hand we cannot neglect the production sent to the United States.

"Because of volumes we have also stopped exports to the German and Swedish markets, and we need to increase production of the Royal Star variety because its characteristics are the most viable for export."

Rodríguez Guerra, who is also a representative of the National Papaya Product System Committee, recommended his fellow growers to undertake all the work necessary for certifications and good agricultural practices as "quality opens all doors".

"Good practices are a lifestyle that the company has to follow, and in this way they get closer to clients little by little and can focus on those that bring trade advantages for what we do.

"Exporting to Europe was not easy. It is a very demanding market and beforehand there was no possibility because the variety of papaya that Mexico managed did not meet the characteristics that Europe needed."

After passing through the various loopholes related to customs and standards, the company managed to successfully start its export rhythm to the continent nine months ago. Rodríguez Guerra highlights the importance of meeting the European Union's strict residue limits.

"[They] give a lot of attention to maximum chemical residue limits that the papaya fruit can have. Europe accepts just 10% of what we are allowed in the United States."

Japan is also in Red Star's sights, where the company already sends white melons and watermelons.

"There are two companies that have come and wanted to work with us. They saw our papaya samples there and came to look for us. The issue is that we don't have the volumes, but we are already talking to people in Japan and believe that in the near future we could start sending them our product."

The release said papaya exports were via air as the industry does not have the capacity or the technology to send them via maritime channels. However, this is not an impediment for the executive.

"There is a very good possibility of growing the European market with the fruit we carry via air."


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