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Current Position:Home » News » Agri & Animal Products » Fruits & Vegetables » Topic

Blueberries and avocados take over from asparagus

Zoom in font  Zoom out font Published: 2017-06-13  Views: 4
Core Tip: Camposol is one of the largest companies in Peru and, globally, Camposol has grown to be a famous name within the sector.
Camposol is one of the largest companies in Peru and, globally, Camposol has grown to be a famous name within the sector. The company calls itself the “largest avocado producer in the world, and the largest blueberry producer soon.” The books were concluded with a nice gross profit of more than 88.5 million euro in 2016. Additionally, the cashbox was filled up to 84.7 million euro, enough to invest in the direction the company decided to go in, in recent years, and for which focus is on a limited number of products.

Returns of about 70 million euro was achieved with the trade in shrimp and other shellfish. A considerable price rise in this sector amounted to the positive result. Yet the largest part of the income came from various fruit sectors. Camposol’s cultivation locations can be found in the two Peruvian regions of Trujillo and Piura, where blueberries, avocados and tangerines, and mangoes and grapes are grown respectively. Looking back at the annual reports it becomes obvious that the company has made strategic decisions in investments in recent years. Product groups, that represented the lion’s share of sales just a few years ago, have been marginalised. Other products were hived off.

Blueberries the big winner

In recent years, considerable investments were made in the cultivation of blueberries. That resulted in a doubling of sales and volume in the past year, making this product category the most profitable within the company. Although investments in blueberry cultivation were made in 2012 as well, this berry did not yet deserve its own mention in the annual report. The company planted 206 hectares with blueberries, a young area of which 205 hectares were not even two years old by then.

In 2013, 839 tonnes of blueberries were harvested form an area of around 200 hectares. A year later, that had risen to just over 1,000 tonnes. In 2015, the production took a considerable leap to nearly 4,700 tonnes. Last year, production took another large leap to about 13,000 tonnes. With that, last year’s sold volume was about 2.5 times larger than in 2015. The majority of that was sold during the fourth quarter, when production was even 1.5 times larger than the total volume in the previous year.

The area figures show only the planted hectares, not the entire surface is in production. Of the 1,460 hectares that were counted last year, 669 hectares were in production. The area of 1.460 hectares isn’t yet the final destination, as far as the Peruvian company’s concerned. The aim is to eventually realise 2,000 hectares of blueberry cultivation. These figures show the company’s ambition and the growth in volume to be expected in coming years. In hard dollars, sales increased by more than 11 times, and rose from 8.6 million dollar in 2013 to more than 100 million dollar last year. With it, the blueberry grew into the most profitable product within the company.

Explosive growth avocado market

With a share of 18 per cent in sales, avocados are the category with the largest returns after blueberries and shrimp in 2016. The company marketed 21,730 tonnes. Although that’s a considerable increase compared to the 594 tonnes brought onto the global market by the Peruvian company in 2011, it’s not the largest volume.In 2014, a record volume of 38,790 tonnes was produced, good for sales amounting to 73,400 dollars. Because of that, the avocado was the most profitable product in the portfolio that year.

The company hitched a ride with the global, explosive growth of the avocado market. The growth figures are considerable. Between 2002 and 2013, the North American market grew by 8.5 times. The European market became 3.9 times larger, while the Japanese market increased by a factor of 6.4. In 2002, the global import market had a size of 471 million dollar. In 2013, that figure had increased to almost 2.7 billion dollar. For a long time, Europe was the traditional importer of this exotic, but since the turn of the century, the markets in North America and Japan have been growing faster than on the European continent.

Asparagus and artichokes phased out
It’s written proudly on the cover of the annual report 2012 that the company is the world’s largest asparagus exporter. The white asparagus represented more than 30 per cent of sales that year. European supermarkets were an important sales channel for the ‘white gold.’ In the following years, however, Camposol shifted its focus from the white gold to emerging products such as avocados and blueberries. That can be seen in the annual reports that followed. In 2014, it was no longer the asparagus that represented the largest share of sales. Yet asparagus was still good for sales amounting to more than 65 million dollar, realised by more than 15,000 tonnes.

After 2014, the asparagus segment started a quick downward trend. In 2015, the volume had more than halved, and remained at 6,659 tonnes. Last year, that volume was further decimated to less than 1,000 tonnes. The area also showed a steady decline. As of 2011, that downward trend has been visible, but it’s been going quickly in recent years. Of the 2,635 hectares in 2011, only 151 were left last year.

Even the artichoke, still worth 16.6 million dollar in 2015, had to clear the field. After 2011, the area and volume increased to a peak of 319 hectares in 2013 and a production of 6,977 tonnes in 2014. However, it soon went downhill. In two years time, the entire production was reduced to zero.

Stable mangoes and grapes
Other products show a more stable image over the years. In 2011, the mango share was still relatively limited, worth 231 million dollar. After a quick growth, production increased to 16,000 tonnes in 2013, after which the production stabilised between 13,000 and 14,000 tonnes. The area also remained fairly stable and had a small recovery in 2014 and 2015.

The grape area is also fairly stable around 450 hectares. During the last two years a slight decline can be seen in the area. Production is generally just below 7,000 tonnes. Peak harvests of 10,000 and 11,000 tonnes were seen in 2013 and 2014.

In the latest annual report, tangerines are still in the category ‘miscellaneous,’ but with the comment that the largest part of the more than 300 million dollar returns are on account of the tangerines. In the long term, prospects are positive, and the Peruvian company talks about “an excellent market for exotic fruit and vegetables.” They mention products including avocados, blueberries, tangerines and mangoes as products with the potential for growth in the most important markets. The company “expects a good demand for all products, and for avocados and blueberries in particular, especially in the US and Europe.”
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