Growth of Fresh Produce Expanding in Latin Countries

Noting the importance of free trade agreements between the United States and various Latin American and Caribbean countries including Panama, a recent article in The Packer magazine (a produce industry trade journal) predicted continued growth in the fruit and vegetable sector for Latin America.  The 326-page report produced for the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development and the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization pointed to “strong growth opportunities” for the region to produce high-value fruits and vegetables.  The report’s findings are consistent with Simply Natural’s experience in growing high-end organic limes, avocados and mangos for export to North America and Europe. 

Commenting on the report, Simply Natural President Alan Winstead said that, “While exports are important for Simply Natural’s future growth, we are also selling significant amounts of our banana, plantain, cucumber and melon production right here at home.  Panama imports nearly 85% of its food and our goal is to reduce that amount so we can work towards self-reliance as a nation.”  Mr. Winstead added that while most exports to North America come from Mexico, Peru, Guatemala and Costa Rica, Simply Natural is working closely with the Panama Ministry of Agricultural Development (MIDA) to transform Panama into a net exporter of agricultural products. 

The report states that Caribbean and Latin American fruit and vegetable production has had substantial growth in the last few decades, with the largest volume of exports headed for the United States and Canada.  Favorable weather, labor conditions and availability of land all point to strong advantages of expanding product production in Latin America.   

The report further pointed to a Simply Natural product, the avocado, as having a strong future.  “Preference changes towards higher consumption of tropical fruits in developed regions, particularly in the case of avocado, should meanwhile stimulate a further expansion in trade.”   The report went on to state that, “Latin America/the Caribbean will continue to be the main source of global supplies in bananas and tropical fruits, with its share in global trade projected to remain close to 80% by 2028.” 


Read the full story from The Packer here: 


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