Farmers from the southernmost Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul who are members of the SebraExport Fruit project, a fruit export program coordinated by the Brazilian Micro and Small Business Support Service (Sebrae), are going to export 190 tons of strawberries, mulberries, raspberries and myrtles.
The shipping, which started in September last year, should continue up to the end of March 2005, generating revenues of around US$ 1.1 million for farmers from Rio Grande do Sul.
The main markets for fruit from the state are Italy, England, France, Holland, Germany and Spain.
The SebraExport objective is to provide small companies with technical and commercial support so they may enter and remain on the foreign market.
Having started three years ago, the project currently includes 56 farmers from the cities of Bom Princípio, Farroupilha, Caxias do Sul, Flores da Cunha and Vacaria.
The Apex, the Brazilian Fruit Institute (Ibraf) and the French supermarket chain Carrefour, created the “Brazilian Fruit Festival” in July.
The program promotes the Brazilian fruit sector abroad, and will reach countries from Europe, Asia, the Americans and the Middle East.
According to information from Apex’s press department, the project’s aim is to make Brazilian fruits known in fresh, frozen pulp and processed juice form.
It will be initially carried out in Belgium, Poland and Spain, and later taken to 16 other countries in which Carrefour has stores.
Marketing, exposition and sale of Brazilian products will be taking place in the program.
Participants include over 60 producers of fruit such as mango, papaya, melon, grape, apple, lemon, banana and pineapple.
According to Arnaldo Eijsink, Carrefour’s agribusiness director, Brazilian fruit exports to chain stores should yield US$ 10 million in the next two years.
According to information from Apex, the Brazilian fresh fruit segment closed 2003 with US$ 335 million in exports. The goal for 2004 is to sell US$ 357.2 million in fruit abroad.