Conducted by the Brazilian Export and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex), the Brazilian Fruit Institute (Ibraf) and companies affiliated with the latter, a survey has set the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia as target markets for exports of Brazilian fruit and their derivatives, such as pulps and juices.
The survey took approximately four months to be concluded and involved collection of data concerning 40 different countries that Brazil either sells or intends to sell its fruit to.
According to Valeska de Oliveira, executive manager of the IBRAF, the choice of the Arab countries was due to a combination of factors, such as their fruit imports not being concentrated in just one supplier, the absence of alcoholic beverage consumption in those countries, and the good image that Brazil enjoys there.
According to Valeska, the fact that Brazil is well regarded by the Arabs makes product acceptance easier. “Doing business with friends also opens doors,” she says. Presently, the Brazilian share of Middle Eastern fruit imports is very low, amounting to 0.75% at most, as is the case with fresh fruit sales to the Emirates.
She reports that participations at fairs in those countries will be organized, as well as fruit tastings at local supermarkets, in order to show the Brazilian origin of the fruit. Business roundtables will be carried out in Brazil as well, with guests including potential buyers and opinion makers.
“The actions will make Brazil better known in those markets as a potential supplier of fresh and processed fruit,” says Valeska. She also claims that it is too soon to set an export growth target for those countries, and that it will depend on the products’ acceptance in the region. “What we want is to increase the Brazilian market share.”
Valeska explains that the Middle East is still an undertapped market when it comes to the fruit sector, even though it has no significant sanitary barriers and only requires the certifications traditionally demanded by the international market.
She, however, regards logistics as a challenge when it comes to increasing Brazilian exports to the region, as the freight (by sea or air), for instance, is usually very expensive.
“There needs to be an intention of exporting that involves other elements in the chain,” she says, stressing that efforts to increase the Brazilian share of those markets must involve transportation companies and other participants, in addition to the farmers.
“The so-called ‘Brazil cost’ [tax, freight, tariffs, etc.] must be reduced so that the country may be competitive in the international market,” she concludes.
Other countries that will also be targeted by actions for increasing Brazilian fruit exports are the United States, Canada, Spain, China, the United Kingdom, Angola, Russia, South Africa, Germany, France, Hong Kong and Chile.