José Antonio Gómez, managing director of Peruvian company Camposol, is overseeing a significant transformation, one that could offer inspiration for other fresh produce suppliers hoping to future-proof their own business.

As supermarkets look for even more dependable and more efficient procurement of fresh fruit and vegetables, Camposol is expanding its supply base beyond Peru so it can provide customers with year-round supply of key items like avocados and blueberries from multiple sources.

“Most supermarkets that we serve are looking for a supplier [to which] they can assign a distribution centre year round and forget about looking for other suppliers. It comes really from them,” he explains in the latest episode of Fruitbox, Fruitnet’s bi-weekly conversation series.

Expansion in terms of the products it supplies is also crucial to Camposol’s recent success, Gómez suggests. Back in 2011, it spotted an opportunity in the market and expanded into blueberries.

“We saw this trend of consumers looking for healthy and convenient fruit. We’re riding the wave of those investments up to now, and now we’re in the other phase of the business where we have been able to vertically integrate the company into supermarkets and distribution channels in the US, Europe and Asia,” he says.

“Now they’re asking us to provide year-round supply. So that’s why we’ve expanded into Colombia to provide year-round avocados and into Uruguay to produce a longer window for citrus.

“So now we’re just going from being a Peruvian only, to multi-country sourcing and this trend is going to continue I think in the next few years to try to focus on the year-round supply for supermarkets.”

Does this mean that Peru itself may have reached its peak? Gómez does not believe so.

“I think Peru has a long way to go in terms of other products that we’re going to start looking at. Perhaps it has reached its peak on certain commodities like grapes, avocados and blueberries. But Peru has a lot of land available, water and weather that really foster any initiative to produce with higher yields and lower climate risks. And in some cases, higher returns.”

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