US specialty produce importer-distributor Melissa’s is reportedly interested in sourcing fresh chilli and bell peppers from Peru, according to a press release from the Peruvian Exporters Association (Adex).
Although Peruvian chilli and bell peppers cannot currently enter the US market (for phytosanitary reasons), Adex said it recently coordinated a meeting between work group Pro-Peppers and Melissa’s.
The encounter was organised under the framework of the Business and Investment Meeting between Peru and Ecuador with the US, which was held on 29 January-3 Februrary, according to Adex.
Pro-Peppers was established in November 2010, with aim of bringing together Peruvian pepper exporters to jointly deal with issues such as access to the US.
According to Adex, entry to the US fresh pepper market would have a positive social impact on Peru since it would create more employment in rural areas of the country – approximately 2.5m day jobs each season (October to March).
The US is the biggest consumer of chilli and bell peppers in the world, Adex said, and the biggest importer of fresh peppers.
In 2009, the US imported 649,000 tonnes of peppers, worth some US$747.57m, an impressive 88 per cent increase since 2000, according to Adex figures.
The association said Peru exported 475 tonnes of fresh peppers in 2009, which equates to 0.06 per cent of the total volume imported by the US.