“Once they figure it out, that’s when they’ll come,” Obregon said. “They’re still in the process.”
Expect to see Peru playing a role in the U.S. market by the summer of 2011, said Dana Thomas, president of Index Fresh Inc., Bloomington, Calif.
“I don’t think this year you’ll see a lot of fruit from Peru in the U.S. market for two reasons,” Thomas said.
“One is, I think they’re still experimenting with the protocol. The second reason is, it’s a big California crop. I think the spring and summer of 2011, with a lower California crop that we’re anticipating, you can see some volume of Peruvian fruit coming in. I think it’s too early to tell how much.”
Alcaino said nobody involved in the Chilean deal should perceive Peru as a threat.
“That is greatly perceived as good complement of the Chilean crop, rather than a threat, due to its early finish coinciding with the start of the Chilean harvest,” he said.
Peru will play a key role in the U.S., eventually, said Rob Wedin, vice president of sales and marketing for Santa Paula, Calif.-based Calavo Growers Inc.
“The Peruvian industry is still very young,” he said. “It would be the fourth largest. It is going through quite a bit of growth, so it eventually will increase the amount of summer fruit in the market, when demand is the greatest and Chile and Mexico are sort of in their off-season.”