Ecuadorian tree tomato gains ground in the United States

Published on 30 April 2019

The sanitary authorization that corroborates the innocuousness of the product, as well as better harvesting practices, have allowed the advance.

The tree tomato, scientifically named solanum betaceum, and also known as tamarillo, is a popular fruit in Ecuador. However, the sanitary requirements of the markets of greater sophistication have prevented it from making its way abroad.

Fortunately, some production areas in the country that have been certified as free of fruit fly are already a source of shipments to the United States. At the moment, the provinces of Tungurahua and Cotopaxi are authorized to export to the North American country, but it is expected that the sources will soon be extended to Pelileo areas such as García Moreno, Chiquicha, La Matriz, Huambaló and El Rosario.

In the following tables, the evolution of exports of the fruit from Ecuador in the period 2014-2018 is observed. As noted, overcoming sanitary barriers coincides with a jump in weight and average value per kilogram, which highlights the importance of working to ensure that more producers are incorporated into the international market.

It should be noted that the main market is North America, but that the product could open space in Europe and Asia if you work in the commercial part to take advantage of what has been achieved, to meet the demands of the United States government. For the moment, it surprises the speed with which this last destination has been developed, as the figures show in the first quarter of this year.

The tree tomato is a product that involves small producers in rural areas. For this reason, the jump to the US market is excellent news for the economy and development in Ecuador. It is expected that hundreds of farmers will join the export chain in the coming months as they will certify their planting, harvesting and packaging practices, and contribute significantly to the country's well-being. The eventual signing of a free trade agreement with the United States would be another important tool to take advantage of.

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