After receiving a positive response from the industry at the Produce Marketing Association"s Fresh Summit in Atlanta, a Colombian specialty fruit exporter plans to increase goldenberry shipments to the U.S.

In June, the U.S. Department of Agriculture lifted longtime time-consuming and expensive cold treatment restrictions and in August, the first shipments of Colombian goldenberries were sent to the U.S.

In late October, Andes Fruits Colombia shipped the fruit to Mom"s Organic Market in Washington, D.C., Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania.

Andes Fruits has been shipping organic goldenberries to the East Coast and plans to begin organic shipments to the West Coast soon, according to a news release.

Johan Beckers, owner of the brand and the farms in Colombia, has been sending the organic, Fair Trade-certified berries to Europe for years and remains enthusiastic about sharing them with American consumers, according to the release.

"The Physalis (as it is known in parts of Europe) can be grown organically, although it is a challenge," he said in the release. "We care about transparency in our supply chain from the well being of the workers in the organic farm to the quality of the product on grocery shelves."  

The Colombian goldenberry, also known as uchuva, physalis or cape gooseberry, is in the night-shade family and is closely related to the tomatillo.

It can be sold with a husk or peeled.

The fruit has been popular in Europe for many years as a health food for smoothies, salads and jams or as a decorative dessert.

Created in 1999, the Bogota, Colombia-based Andes Fruits is European-owned company that exports exotic fruits including baby bananas, passion fruit, granadilla and other tropicals to Europe and the U.S.