Bruna Garcia Fonseca
São Paulo – The açaí company Eco Fresh has begun exporting its products to Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The company was founded twelve years ago serving the domestic market. In 2015, it started exporting for the United States and Italy, and in the beginning of last year extended its foreign sales, which now reach 17 countries. They are United States, Bolivia, Argentina, Uruguay, Mexico, Chile, Paraguay, Panama, Portugal, Bulgaria, Spain, England, Russia, China, South Korea, and the Arabs.
“We wanted to reach the entire national territory before beginning exporting, and now we have a specialized team only for foreign sales,” Eco Fresh exports manager Lucas Garcia told ANBA.
The company has an annual production of around 300 tons of açaí. Cultivation is done in a farm in Igarapé-Miri, Pará, and is divided for processing in two industries, one in Marituba, also in Pará, and another headquarter in Barueri, São Paulo.
Around 12% of total produced is sold abroad, according to Garcia. “By 2021, we want exports to be 30% of our production,” he said. The United States are their leading buyer, and sales to them account for 40% of total exports. Garcia told that the Arabs account for approximately 10%. “The Arab market is very important for us, we are prospecting new markets, including Lebanon, Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain, and we estimate that by 2021 the Arabs will be our third largest market [just behind US and Europe], representing 20% of the foreign sales,” he said.
Earlier this month, Eco Fresh sent an air shipment of three tons of açaí to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. From there, a refrigerated truck took part of the shipment to Dubai and Abu Dhabi, UAE. The company is negotiating the shipment of a monthly container to the Saudi market of approximately 20 tons. “We also send a half ton load to Lebanon three months ago, but we still haven’t closed new orders,” reported Garcia.
In addition to the competitive price, what set Eco Fresh product apart, according to the manager, is that it has a more concentrated pulp content than the competition. The frozen açaí comes in the versions original, zero sugar (sugared with sucralose), with banana, with strawberry, with acerola, and pure açaí pulp. Sizes range from 55-gram stick with to the 10-kg carton.
The company also produces creams of fruits such as graviola, and coffee, Brazilian nut, and tapioca with coconut cream. These are their most sold products in the domestic market. “We are also developing milk-free versions of the nut and tapioca creams for the vegan public,” he added.
Lucas Garcia told that, until now, halal certification for the Arab countries were not necessary – halal means that the product is adequate for the Muslim consumption. “Our buyer didn’t require it, but if it is necessary, we will seek the certification.”
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Translated by Guilherme Miranda