"Peru has to make its way in this segment"- ProHass on organic avocados

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This article is a continuation of an interview with Daniel Bustamante for FreshFruitPortal.com. You can read the first part here.

According to data from Chile's Odepa (Office of Agrarian Studies and Policies), in recent years there has been an increase in the consumption of organic products and fruits in Latin America.

This is complemented by the 2020 Organic Product Performance Report conducted by the Organic Produce Network and its partners which revealed that organic fresh produce sales in 2020 reached more than $8.5 billion. This represented an increase of more than $1 billion compared to 2019.

In Peru's case, this trend is still a niche as organic avocados are just starting in the market.

"There is a trend leaning toward the consumption of organic fruit; although the production of organic avocados in Peru is growing, the truth is that it is still a niche market, and as such, it is saturated easily," Daniel Bustamante Director and Past President of ProHass and Chief Commercial Officer of Agrícola Cerro Prieto (ACP) told FreshFruitPortal.com.

"The avocado is just beginning, following in the footsteps of bananas and blueberries that have a bigger presence in the organic sector than do avocados."

Regarding the future of organic avocados, Bustamante said "the market will grow gradually, but the legislation for the organic condition in destinations such as the EU is still difficult to apply on a large scale; I believe that in Peru's case it would be essential to be able to serve that market more efficiently".

Organic avocado exports

Peruvian organic avocado exports are still being developed.

"The percentage is still very low with respect to national production, and it is not fully identified. The U.S. market is one that is taking a large part of the organic offering from Peru," Bustamante said.

"The main challenge is to become known as a serious organic avocado supplier in the markets; like any new product on the market, Peru has to make its way in this segment."

Analysis of the effects of the Agrarian Promotion Law

In the first article of this series, Bustamante analyzed the effects of the Agrarian Promotion Law in Peru, which modified the investment scenario within the fruit and vegetable sector.

"This new law has discouraged investment in the entire agricultural sector since the political/populist concept has prevailed over technical criteria and knowledge of the sector."

"The high degree of ignorance within Congress is alarming, and the irresponsibility with which they try to manipulate various sectors that stimulate the economy, even more so in a year in which the pandemic has brought very serious consequences to the country's economy," he said.

"The most dramatic consequences in the agro-export sector will be seen in the medium term since many investments that were planned for the 2021-25 period are definitely being re-evaluated."

When asked about the information communicated by local media on whether the new Agrarian Law is causing agro-exporters to grow avocados in countries like Colombia, Bustamante said: "Indeed, many of the planned investments are being diverted to other countries, Colombia being one of the main ones in the case of avocados".

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