PMA Fruittrade to untap fresh trade possibilities
While Latin American produce is familiar for consumers around the world who devote a fair amount of stomach share to it, most do not get the opportunity to meet the distant growers of these items firsthand. When it comes to traders, such encounters often occur at conferences in the Northern Hemisphere or through targeted farm visits to the region.
Through sheer logistical challenges and circumstances, potentially fruitful business relationships fall through the cracks because would-be partners simply haven't met.
A new partnership seeks to change that, bringing the Latin American produce industry together as a trading bloc and uniting it with partners and new contacts from across the globe.
Forged between Chilean grower group Fedefruta and the Produce Marketing Association (PMA), the event PMA Fruittrade will take place in Santiago de Chile on November 12-13.
Fruit set will be underway for the summer crop on the outskirts of the Chilean capital, and harvests will already be taking place in parts of Peru, Argentina and Uruguay. Further north, Mexico's winter deal will be around the corner, while bananas will be in season - as they always are - in tropical nations like Ecuador and Colombia.
Organizers of the event expect a broad range of participants from across Latin America and elsewhere.
"With this alliance between Fedefruta, PMA and Yentzen Group (www.freshfruitportal.com's parent company), Latin America will increase its export supply in a considerable way as a sector, as in just one instance buyers will be able to access a wide variety of products from temperate, subtropical and tropical areas," Fedefruta president Juan Carolus Brown Bauzá said in a release.
Brown himself exports table grapes from the Aconcagua Valley, and has personally made business deals at previous Fruittrade events held prior to its new international industry format, which is kicking off this year.
"Now we will bring all the fruit powers of the region together who, at PMA Fruittrade, will be lifted as a Latin American block, taking advantage of their different comparative advantages."
Recent government meeting
In other news relating to Fedefruta, Brown met with representatives from the Agriculture Ministry on Monday to discuss a public-private plan to eradicate Lobesia Botrana; a pest whose detection let to certain restrictions for some Chilean blueberry growers last season.
Also under discussion were the need to make sure perishable products aren't affected by strikes in future, as well as expectations surrounding the Water Code and energy issues.
"There are a lot of decisions being made today in the country that will impact the fruit industry and its people in one way or another," Brown said.
"That's why it is key that we approach the authorities, valuing what has been done in conjunction and consulting on the scope of any action."
In his capacity as manager of the Biofrutales consortium that Fedefruta is also a part of, Brown highlighted the importance of varietal development and genetics to improve the Chilean industry, using the introduction of new varieties like black table grape IniaGrape-one as an example.