Opportunities for sustainable agriculture in Peru

According to the latest report of the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL, Norway is one of the top 10 countries with the highest per capita consumption of organic food in the world. This fact opens a wide opportunity range for Norwegian companies looking to add more sustainable products to their portfolio to supply this increasing demand.

More and more actors in the agribusiness sector in Peru are increasing the sustainability of their production chain. The country is known to be a global leader in the production and exports of vegetables, fruits, coffee, cocoa, grains, Superfoods, and other agricultural products. The sector in Peru is very rich and diverse, thanks to the great amount of climate zones (84 out of 117 places of life worldwide) that you can find in the country that make for an abundance of products. Agriculture accounts for almost 7% of the national GDP and is a source of employment for 24.2% of the economically active population. Exports of non-traditional agricultural products have grown steadily over the last years, reaching an 8.1% increase in 2020.

One of the sustainable initiatives that have been growing over the last years is coffee producer The 7 Elements. Their production area, located in the Oxapampa-Ashaninka-Yanesha Biosphere Reserve in the central Peruvian jungle, works according to the principles of permaculture, respecting the environment, while refraining from the use of pesticides or fertilizers. They do so together with the indigenous Yanesha people that live in the area, hereby aiding the economic development of their communities, as well as the regeneration of that part of the Amazon rainforest. The 7 Elements produces eleven varieties of specialty coffee with a Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) score of minimum 84. They have a commercial representation in the Netherlands from which they manage their sales in Europe.

Another Peruvian company that is dedicated to increase agricultural sustainability is Wiraccocha. Located at the heart of the Andes mountain range, they cultivate a variety of native and organic Peruvian products such as quinoa, amaranth, chia, cañihua, maca, and cocoa. Their goals are to promote sustainable agriculture with a high sense of social responsibility and care for the environment. Wiraccocha currently works with 1440 smallholders from 168 communities in Peru, reaching a total of more than 8000 tonnes of certified organic products per year, while contributing to the economic development of these communities.

Other agricultural companies are looking to boost their sustainable production through Foreign Direct Investments. An example of this is Allima Cacao, a cocoa cooperative in the San Martín region in Peru founded in 2009. The cooperative consists of over 400 smallholder farmers that produce certified organic and Fairtrade cocoa, reaching 467 tonnes in 2020. Currently they are looking to expand the production and innovation of their cocoa, for which they are looking for a partner that can provide an investment of 450,000 USD.

Another example is the company Dream D’Li, which produces coffee, cocoa, and honey in Junín, Peru. They are currently looking to implement a project which aims to work towards a zero carbon footprint, by producing bamboo, cocoa, and coffee in a circular and sustainable way. The project is developed with members of a cooperative, made up of indigenous Asháninka communities. They have been increasing the bamboo areas on their farms, applying processes that are less polluting, in order to minimise the carbon footprint of obtaining cocoa and coffee beans. To achieve their goals for this project, they are currently looking for a partner who is willing to grow with them through a financial investment of 500,000 USD.

Of course, these are only a few examples of the countless possibilities that Peru offers and with which the country is working towards a sustainable future. This also illustrates that there are more and more Peruvian initiatives that can respond to the increasing sustainability demand of Norwegian consumers.

For more information about sourcing sustainable products from Peru or investing in Peru, you can contact the Commercial Office of Peru (PROMPERU) in the Benelux & Scandinavia at info@perutrade.nl, who will be delighted to put you in touch with the right providers and/or projects in need of investments.