Guatemala is now positioned as the world’s third-largest exporter of peas, and indigenous farmers living in the highlands produce 99 percent of these peas.
Guatemala’s participation in the global fresh vegetables and fruits market has required a rapid technological adaptation to changes in food safety requirements. When implemented, these technological adaptations ensure access to high-value and regulated markets such as USA and the EU.
The lack of availability of this kind of technology, such as food-safe cold storage, bulking and processing spaces, has become one of the major limiting factors in the competitiveness of smallholder farmers in export supply chains.
Small and growing agri-food companies and exporters have played an important role in facilitating the compliance of food-safe and quality certification standards of the smallholder production base. This is true in the case of Fair-Fruit, a Guatemalan company, who specialize in fresh fruit and vegetables destined for European markets.
In the past Fair-Fruit had been collecting all their produce from Salamá and transporting it to its main plant in Ciudad Vieja (Sacatepeqez) for processing, a six-hour trip which often resulted in produce spoiling and a loss of revenue.
In 2015 Fair-Fruit decided to place an InspiraFarms satellite Cold Storage and Food Processing Facility (an FP180) at their production site in Salamá. Fair-Fruit hoped to reduce produce spoilage and dehydration due to long distance transportation, as well as save money on their overall processing and transportation costs as their motivation for installing the FP180 at their production site.
According to Miguel Basterrechea at Fair-Fruit, “For many years we’ve budgeted 30% in quality and dehydration carrying the product for such long distances. Cooling down the product and working on quality close to harvest fields can reduce these losses in between 10% and 15%. With around 2,000,000 pounds harvested in a year we are talking of 240,000 more pounds per year, and at a US$0.73 per pound, this generates a net total of US$175,000 per year”.
To know more about InspiraFarms technology, visit our website: www.inspirafarms.com