Ecuadorian goldenberry deal offers year-round supply
The goldenberry, a naturally occurring crop in most of the Andes region, is slowly becoming a staple of Ecuador’s fruit industry, with a strong year-round supply.
Dennis Brito, CEO and Founder at Golden Sweet Spirit, says the U.S. has become the main destination market for fresh goldenberries, as consumption trends continue to lean towards more health-conscious food choices.
The company exports goldenberries fresh, dried and in jam form.
"Our main market is in North America. The U.S. and Canada are our main destinations. We also have sales in European countries such as Germany, Holland, Spain and England, and we would love to grow further,” Brito told FreshFruitPortal.com
With a high antioxidant content, goldenberries are particularly popular in breakfast recipes and preparations.
Ecuador’s rich soil, cheap water sources and sunny climate, with at least 12 hours of sun a day, makes up for a big competitive advantage, the executive said.
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“Ecuadorian goldenberries are grown and harvested the 52 weeks of the year, which is another competitive advantage for retail, since it can be available on the shelves all year round and also at a steady price,” Brito added.
For Golden Sweet Spirit, current consumer price for 3.5 ounces of goldenberries averages at 4 to 6 dollars. The product can be found in select Whole Foods, Trader Joe's and Costco stores, among other popular grocery shops.
As for growing areas, the company currently has 100 hectares for production and is working to increase that number tenfold by 2028, as it hopes to attract foreign capital in the coming years.
“To date, we export around 500 tons to the U.S., which represents approximately 80% of our production and covers less than 0.06% of the U.S. demand for berries, according to statistics,” Brito said.
However, not many producing countries have the advantages that Ecuador has when it comes to this fruit, as the country is the biological center of origin for goldenberries.
According to Brito, the product was mistakenly named physallis peruviana, in reference to Peru. But its true origin is in Ecuador, where there are currently 36 different types of goldenberry being produced.
Commitment to sustainability
Brito’s company recently became the first agro exporter in the country to receive the carbon neutral certification for goldenberries.
Golden Sweet Spirit measures carbon footprint from the germination of the seed to its entry into packaging and transportation, which is the stage that generates the most greenhouse gasses.