Super foods such as potatoes, sacha inchi, maca, cranberries, chestnuts and Andean grains, among others, were the stars of Peru Honor Day (CIP and Peru Honor Day) at the International Horticulture Exhibition 2019 (Beijing Expo 2019) on September 1.
Peruvian Vice President Mercedes Aráoz, who headed the event, highlighted the historical, cultural and commercial ties that unite the country with China, stressing the migration from the Asian giant to Peru, its influence on Peruvian cuisine and the 10 years since the signing of the Free Trade Agreement.
Barbara Wells, director general of the International Potato Center (CIP) – a research organization for development headquartered in Lima – detailed the effort of having achieved our participation in this important international exhibition – the largest in the world – and underlined the importance of committing ourselves to the development of science and technology to make more efficient use of agricultural areas, the benefits of agrobiodiversity and sustainability.
Peru's participation at Beijing Expo 2019 was made possible by CIP, which built the Peruvian pavilion depicting the terraces of Moray in Cusco, an archaeological site known as the world's first agricultural research center.
For CIP and Peru Honor Day, the Commission for the Promotion of Peru for Exports and Tourism (PROMPERU) promoted our super foods, including quinoa, maca, cranberries, chestnuts and pomegranates, all under the Super Foods Peru brand, while also offering smoothies to the public. PROMPERU also developed a space for tasting our specialty coffees under the Coffees from Peru brand name.
It should be noted that the potato had a special place during this event in China because there was a large exhibition of numerous specimens from Peru. Prior collaboration between Chinese and Peruvian scientists together with CIP has allowed more than 150 new potato varieties to be developed in China, among which the so-called 'Cooperation 88' stands out, which is currently cultivated in more than 395 thousand acres of Chinese territory. In the more than 20 years since this potato was introduced, it is estimated that it has generated more than US$ 3.73 billion for the benefit of farmers and traders.
In addition to depicting the terraces of Moray in the Peruvian pavilion, which receives about 10,000 people daily, CIP and PROMPERU have set up a dome that displays products, graphics alluding to the origins of foods, and videos. Activities will also take place related to super foods.
The event was also attended by various Chinese officials such as the general commissioner of Beijing Expo 2019, Chen Zhou; the president of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Tang Huajun, deputy general secretary of the People's Government of Beijing, Bei Chen, and many others.
The Free Trade Agreement between Peru and China was signed on April 28, 2009. The main Peruvian products benefiting from it include cuttlefish, squid, fresh grapes, avocados, mangoes, barley, paprika, tara powder, fine hair yarns and, recently, quinoa.
Since the trade agreement entered into force, the value of total exports to China has grown by an annual average of 13% and non-traditional exports by 11.4%. China has become Peru's main trading partner in 7 of the treaty’s 9 years, and consecutively for the last five years (2014-2018).
To date, this market has allowed access to products such as asparagus, table grapes, avocado and quinoa. According to the National Agrarian Health Service, steps have been taken to process the entry of chestnuts, frozen avocado and pomegranate.
As part of the Super Foods Peru promotion plan that is being carried out in Asia, a meeting was held today, Monday 2, between local businessmen to promote quinoa seeds. In addition, Peru will be present as guest of honor at the Asia Fruit Logistica 2019 trade fair, which will be held from September 4-6 in Hong Kong, and we will also participate in the China International Import Expo Exhibition, to be held in Shanghai from November 5-10.