Brazil Tries to Capture Arabs Taste Beyond Mango and Melons

Carambola of Brazil, the starfruitNow is the time of the Brazilian fruit get it own space in the Arab market. The stand of the Brazilian Fruit Institute at Gulfood, in the food sector, in Dubai, should cover 90 square meters, almost double the size of the stand in last year’s edition.

The exhibitors have also increased, rising from three to eight. “It is still a small figure, but the market in the Middle East is young and unknown to Brazilian companies,” stated the executive manager at the Ibraf, Valeska de Oliveira.

According to her, the Arab market is targeted by the Brazilian Fruit program, an Ibraf project, in partnership with the Brazilian Export and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex-Brasil), whose objective is to place Brazil in the center of the global fruit market. Gulfood should take place from February 21st to 24th.

In this edition, Brazilian companies are going to exhibit mango, Brazil nuts, guava, figs, papaya, tangerine, grape juice and concentrated juice, among other dried and processed fruit.

According to Valeska, apart from the exhibitors, another six companies should visit the fair to learn about opportunities in the market. “Gulfood is the main fair for our products in the Middle East,” she said.

Among the companies and associations exhibiting are Ruette Spices, Atlântica Foods, Caiba Indústria e Comércio, Rio Doce Importação e Exportação, the Brazilian Institute of Wine (Ibravin) and Exporta Minas.

They are going to take to the Arab nations some exotic products that differ from the traditional international taste, among them star fruit, persimmon and 100% whole grape juice.

This is the third time that the Ibraf participates in the Gulfood. According to Valeska, it has already been possible to feel that Brazilian products are well accepted by the Arabs and the receptiveness by local companies is also great.

According to figures supplied by the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce, the Arab countries imported from Brazil a total of US$ 9.31 million in fresh fruit last year, representing an increase of 8.4% over 2008. Grapes, melons, apples and mangoes were the main products shipped.

Among the processed fruit, which includes mashed fruit, nuts and concentrated juice, the growth of Brazilian sales to the Arab countries was 30.2%, with exports of US$ 21.46 million. The main importers were Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Algeria.

The matter of logistics is still a challenge to Brazilian exporters. According to Valeska, a large part of sales to the Arabs go through Rotterdam, in the Netherlands. “Our objective is to shorten the distance and to start exporting directly,” added the manager.

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