Leading fresh fruit importer Yupaa has received India’s first-ever shipment of Spanish pears.
The first arrival was greeted by Yupaa’s head of import procurement Parth Kavat and Spain’s economic and commercial counsellor in India, Juan del Alcazar, yesterday (Tuesday 29 November) at Yupaa’s coldstore facility in Mumbai.
Spain only secured access to the Indian market for apples and pears at the beginning of this year, and Yupaa moved swiftly to bring in trial shipments of Spanish apples in April, working with Lleida-based grower-packer-marketer Nufri. The Indian importer has now taken the first shipments of pears from the same partner, bringing in the Alejandrina variety.
Karvat told Asiafruit the Alejandrina variety is unique, and well suited to the Indian market. “The pears are very strong in terms of travel and storage – and they have a very attractive appearance,” he said. “They are green with a slight pink blush and they’re beautifully packaged. The pears are wrapped in pink tissue paper, which makes the fruit look like it’s packed with flower petals.”
Karvat visited Spain earlier this year to discuss the packing and selection of the variety with Nufri’s Jacky Feniello and export manager Emma Mora. “We have put together a small programme of weekly arrivals for the month of December through until mid-January,” he explained.
In addition to Spanish pears, Yupaa is also developing its programme for apples this year, bringing in more Red Chief apples from Nufri.
“Following the success of our trial shipments of 21 tonnes earlier this year, we’ll be bringing in a total of 425 tonnes of Super Chief apples,” said Karvat.
Del Alcazar said he was delighted with the agreement between Yupaa and Nufri to bring in Spanish apples and pears. “We hope this partnership will develop further in terms of the volume and range of fruits,” he said. “Spain is one of the world’s largest fruit exporters, so we foresee the presence of Spanish-branded fruits increasing in India in the coming years now access has been granted.”
The commercial counsellor said Spain ranked 30th among fruit exporters to India in 2015, which he said highlighted the huge potential to develop its position as a supplier. “Spain has a diversity of climates and landscapes, we’re a relatively small country, and our agriculture sector is highly competitive and productive,” he said. “It’s not only these factors that give us a privileged positioned among European producers and exporters, it is the quality and flavour of our fruits.”
India’s pear imports grew by almost 35 per cent year-on-year in 2015 to nudge 22,000 tonnes, according to figures from the 2016 edition of the Asiafruit Congress Statistics Handbook. China (62 per cent), South Africa (26 per cent) and the US (11 per cent) accounted for the vast majority of supplies, but key EU pear-producing countries are stepping up their market development efforts in India with western varieties. Belgian companies are leading the way on promotional efforts, with BelOrta and BFV both active, while the Netherlands also recently secured access to the Indian market.