Peru can 'perfectly complement' Chilean grapes, says Cilloniz
Fernando Cilloniz, who is the president of Peru-based consultancy firm Inform@ccion, said some 3,000-4,000 hectares of vineyards were planted in his country each year.
Speaking at the International Table Grape Seminar in Chile, Cilloniz said the industry expected production to shoot up from the 200,000 metric tons (MT) grown last season to 500,000MT within five years.
The expert told participants the two countries' geographies were such that their table grape seasons would transition smoothly from one to the other.
"We are fairly early from a grape-production stand point...and it is the perfect accompaniment between Peru and Chile. That is what Chilean companies who go to Peru are requesting," he said.
"Peru can be the perfect complement to Chile to collectively offer grapes 12 months a year. Peru's advantage, the early grape crop, has been experiencing rising prices.
"The prices from November to December are always far better than the months of February and March, so it is a great business opportunity."
Cilloniz also said the Peruvian industry was working hard to improve water sustainability techniques, and was looking into following the path of their southern neighbors by growing table grape crops on sandy lands.
"The lands are getting bigger and bigger. The good thing about Peru is the sand - we are different to Chile in that we have not used this sandy land for crop cultivation and there is an enormous hectarage that could be used, as it is in Chile, in an extraordinary way," he said.
Cilloniz mentioned another area of focus for Peru was improving conditions for workers and increasing production efficiency.
He went on to cite China and an increasing global tendency toward healthy foods as two key reasons why he was confident demand would keep up with Peru's growing table grape supply.
"Hopefully Chileans will see us as their partners to supply this enormous and growing world market for fruits and vegetable products," Cilloniz said.