Frutas Tropicales, S.A. is a Guatemalan company founded in 1983. When Gloria Polanco first started the company, she had no idea it would become the first Guatemalan producer to export avocados to Europe. When she first founded Frutesa, Guatemala could not export avos to the United States due to restrictions and the superfruit wasn’t very popular in Europe yet. Once Europeans began to demand more avos, Frutesa carried out a few test shipments. Starting in 2008, they sent just 2 containers of the fruit each year. Back then, containers did not have the capability to maintain an atmosphere conducive to preserving the fruit until they reach the foreign market that they do today. Though the fruits arrived well enough, the price for avos in Europe was so low that the exports just weren’t profitable and it made more sense to sell the fruit at home, in Guatemala.
In 2016, however, demand for avocados abroad began to grow, and Gloria became the first avocado exporter in Guatemala. By 2017, Frutesa was sending 4 or 5 containers of avos each year. By the end of 2021, they expect to send more than 40 containers, and demand is still increasing.
Next Steps For First Avocado Exporter
Their next step: enter the United States market. The U.S. has the highest per capita consumption of the superfruit, and its close proximity would be more advantageous than the faraway European markets.