Fernando Ascenzo, commerical manager for Trujillo-based Green Peru, and Lisbeth Linares, commercial executive, show off green and white asparagus at the company's booth Sept. 28 during Expoalimentaria in Lima, Peru. The company supplies asparagus to North Bay Produce, Keystone Fruit Marketing and Gourmet Trading and plans to the expand its presence in the U.S. avocado market next spring, Ascenzo says.
Fernando Ascenzo, commerical manager for Trujillo-based Green Peru, and Lisbeth Linares, commercial executive, show off green and white asparagus at the company's booth Sept. 28 during Expoalimentaria in Lima, Peru. The company supplies asparagus to North Bay Produce, Keystone Fruit Marketing and Gourmet Trading and plans to the expand its presence in the U.S. avocado market next spring, Ascenzo says.

LIMA, Peru — Established suppliers to the U.S. market for asparagus, citrus, onions, mangoes and grapes, Peruvian exporters plan to be bigger players in the U.S. avocado market next spring.

Grower-exporters including AIB, Camposol, Danper, Dominus and Green Peru plan to ramp up their shipments of avocados to U.S., following the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s easing of restrictions on the fruit from Peru earlier this year.

Those firms were a few of the 56 fresh produce companies exhibiting at Expoalimentaria Sept. 28-30.

They were among more than 500 exhibitors representing more than 900 companies at the event, said Laura Angulo, agriexport coordinator ADEX, the Peruvian Exporters Association that staged the event.

The show drew more than 17,000 visitors in its first two days, according to ADEX.

Nearly 1,800 international buyers from five continents attended, including buyers from U.S.-based companies such as Supervalu, H-E-B, Sysco and Coosemans.

Among buyers scouting for opportunities in fresh fruits and vegetables was Eric Gingrich, grower relations and procurement manager for Ephrata, Pa.-based Earth Source Trading Inc., a division of Four Seasons Produce.

Earth Source was looking for suppliers of oranges, lemons and limes, Gingrich said, and he talked to three or four prospective suppliers at the expo.

He said Earth Source also has interest in asparagus from Peru, as well as organic fruits and vegetables.

Zachariah Derstine, president of Sellersville, Pa.-based foodservice distributor Derstine’s, which serves independent restaurants, was a first-time attendee.

His company imports jumbo yellow sweet onions from Peru.

He said Derstine’s is open to new importing opportunities and the expo was a good venue for seeing what’s out there.

In it’s third year, Expoalimentaria has grown from 6,000 square meters in its inaugural run, to 12,0000 square meters in 2010, to 18,000 square meters this year, Angulo said.