By Lesly Vera

Once again Expoalimentaria, hosted in Lima, Peru September 19-21 has positioned itself as the largest international food fair in the region. A total of 619 exhibitors (15% more than in 2011) and 8,161 visitors, 2,037 from 57 countries met to conduct business at an event that expects to stimulate sales for US$ 500 million during the next 12 months, according to ADEX – The Peruvian Exporters’ Association. Expoalimentaria is organized by ADEX in cooperation with Promperu, the Ministry of Agriculture and The Peruvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The most representative lines presented included fresh and processed agri-food and seafood. “Quinuazana” introduced by Tecnología y Procesos Alimentarios S.A.C won 1st place among 33 companies showcasing creative new products at The Innovation Room. “We wanted to improve the mild taste of quinua with a tart juicy fruit. Apples provided stability to the blend, which proves challenging due to the high concentration of protein found in quinoa”. According to the judges Quinuazana offers a high nutritional beverage with a good taste. Other exhibitors at Expoalimentaria included top Peruvian exporters of organic and conventional foods such as Machu Picchu Foods and Danper, as well as small to medium sized firms like Candela Peru offering ingredients and its line of Amazonian nuts with chocolate and Amazonian nut oils.

Perunatura, best practices against “green washing”

The 6th edition of PeruNatura organized by Promperu and sponsored by Perudiverso runs parallel to Expoalimentaria as the main platform for the promotion of products developed under environmental, economic and social sustainability principles; biotrade, organics and fair trade. This year’s slogan “Small changes big differences, contributing to sustainable economic development in rural areas of Peru”, led the promotion to acknowledge the commitment of 30 Peruvian firms to follow social and business sustainability practices.

For the second time, the Swiss Import Promotion Program – SIPPO organized a buyers mission with 17 representatives of 13 international firms from Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands, Greece, France and Norway looking for natural ingredients for the food and cosmetic industries. They took part in 200 B2B prearranged meetings during the fair. A firm from South Africa and one from Israel where attending Expoalimentaria for the first time. Expoalimentaria is becoming a good export platform for organic suppliers from the region, attracting over 45 international buyers looking for organic certified tropical fruits, fruit pulps, dried nuts, purees, sweeteners, ancient grains and flours from Peru, Ecuador, Mexico and Bolivia. “We are very impressed with the level of service and organization at Expoalimentaria”, said Javier Fernandez, CEO of leading exporter Andean Valley and current President of CABOLQUI, the Bolivian Chamber of Royal Quinoa and Organic Products Exporters. “We had the opportunity to meet with new and known foreign buyers, but also to connect and discuss issues of common interest to all quinoa producers and exporters from the Andean region, mainly Bolivia and Peru”.

Wiracocha ready for Quinoa celebration at BioFach 2013

In anticipation to 2013 the International year of Quinoa as announced by FAO, Expoalimentaria offered a great stage for quinoa producers and exporters to meet and prepare for the celebrations to take place at BioFach in Nuremberg February 13-16, the main international fair for organic trade and the one that hosts the majority of quinoa exporters from South America. Six Peruvian companies will take part at BioFach next year BioFach as part of a special stage for quinoa, organized by Promperu and the project for Andean Biotrade. The initiative includes a tasting event to introduce importers, distributors and visitors at BioFach to the versatility of quinoa as ingredient and as a whole food with a rich nutritional content. “We are satisfied with contacts and business conducted at Perunatura/Expoalimentaria 2012, experience that offered a training opportunity prior to our participation at BioFach 2013”, said Glicerio Flores, general manager of Wiraccocha del Peru. Participants will make sure all logistics and sales aspects are under control to ensure a smooth communication with the international market. “ The quinoa value chain improvement is relevant. It is important for firms like Wiraccocha to be involved in all aspects from production to commercialization and delivery of the final product”. Expoalimentaria 2013 is scheduled for September 24-26.