2015 marks the first year of goldenberries being imported to the US without the necessary cold treatment. Close to Colombia’s capital Bogotá, at 2,200 meters elevation, the Colombian government together with Aphis have declared a fruit-fly free area that is very suitable for growing goldenberries.
“We source our goldenberries exclusively from this area in Colombia,” says Andres Ocampo with HLB Specialties. The growing area is very close to the equator with excellent circumstances for year-round supplies. HLB partners with one of the largest growers in that area, allowing for steady supplies throughout the year.
Hurricane Patricia did less damage to Mexican agriculture than what was initially predicted, and supplies of many Mexican imports, papaya included, have remained steady in its wake. With attractive prices luring more Guatemalan growers into the market, Central American imports have been increasing over the years.
“Supplies from Mexico have been steady and volumes from Guatemala are up this year,” noted Andres Ocampo of HLB Specialties. “As the market for papaya has grown over the last 10 years, the number of growers who export year-round there has grown from four or five to about 10.” Ocampo estimates that Mexico, Guatemala and Belize account for about 85 to 90 percent of papaya imports in the United States, and with Mexican supplies holding steady, the uptick in Guatemalan shipments has made for larger volumes in the United States.
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