Brazilian fruit-tasting centres are to be set up in shopping malls and supermarkets as part of a long-term plan by exporters to increase demand for the produce in the UAE market.
Brazil, one of the world's largest fruit-producing nations, currently supplies fruit and fruit concentrates to juice manufacturing companies in Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
The new initiative by Apex-Brazil, the country's trade and investment promotion agency, and the Brazilian Fruit Institute is part of a campaign to popularise Brazilian grapes, oranges, mangos, apples and other fruits in the GCC market.
"The Brazilian Government is keen to attract foreign investment to the fruit and farming sectors," Luciana Pacheco, a senior official at the institute, told Emirates Business at the just-concluded Gulfood exhibition in Dubai. "About 80 per cent of our fruit-farming operations are small and medium-size enterprises. The objective of the Brazilian fruit project is to increase exports of Brazilian fruit and place these products on the international market."
"In Europe we have set up Brazilian fruit-tasting centres in major superstores such as Carrefour – there are centres in France, Italy, Portugal and Spain. In France alone there are 300 Carrefour stores selling and promoting Brazilian fruits, and in the near future we plan to have similar centres in leading supermarket chains in the Gulf."
Pacheco said exports of Brazilian fruit to the US market had been badly hit by the economic crisis and renewed efforts were being made to find new markets.
"The US fruit market is not good now and some of our exporters are facing problems there. Brazilian fruits don't have a big market share in the US now. We are trying to expand the domestic Brazilian market and find new overseas markets."
Other fruits that are being promoted include pineapples, avocados, cherries, bananas, persimmons, figs, guavas, limes, papayas, melons, watermelons and tangerines.
The institute is also trying to boost demand in the region for processed fruit pulp and juices, cashew nuts and Brazilian coconut water.
"We have conducted a study and for the next two years we will be promoting Brazilian fruit exports to the UAE, Saudi Arabia and the rest of the GCC," said Pacheco.
She said her country's fruit farms were equipped with the latest technology and the country exported 780,413 tonnes of fresh fruit worth $559 million (Dh2 billion) annually.
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