Food And Beverage Exports Grew By 29% From January To March 2012, Versus The First Quarter Of 2011

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The Commission of Food and Beverages of AGEXPORT gave a report on the activities undertaken in the current year and the export performance 2012 to its partners. The good news is the growth of the field in the first months of 2012, driven mainly by the food industry.

The food and beverage sector has been characterized as one of the leaders in export growth. In the past two decades, has grown from U.S. $ 50 million to over $ 800 million, showing a constant increase the food industry, followed by the beverage industry.

Over the past 5 years, the food and beverage sector has had an average growth of 18%. This is the result of many efforts, especially to be aware of the importance of innovation, quality and added value that Guatemala has given to its agricultural production to position itself in international markets, specialized technical training to strengthen businesses and allow them to have a skilled labor has generated new products, new markets and especially more jobs in the industry, explained the President of Food Commission, Francisco José Menéndez.

The food industry consists of 6 sub-sectors integrated as follows: 20% of beverages, 20% of preserved food, 15% of baking, 10% of candies, 8% of dairy and 27% of other processed foods. Together generate about 15 thousand direct jobs, of which more than 3 thousand are women.
80% of jobs generated by the food sector are located in the Capital City, however, the dynamism of the sector is linked to the agricultural sector due to the entrepreneurship of SMEs giving added value to food and open the doors to new markets, said Menéndez.

Entrepreneurs, optimistic about sustained growth and opening up market opportunities in Central America, Mexico, Europe and U.S., have launched the goal of reaching the billion dollars in foreign sales. To achieve this, the sector has been working since 2011 on specific export guidelines to facilitate and adequate information in order to promote new export projects.

According to the director of the commission, these guides are aimed at companies that start in exports, which seek market diversification projects, which intend to export to Mexico and/or the United States on a sustained basis. However, the project comprises three more guides: Central America, Panama and a destination country to be defined in 2013.

Among others, to define these markets, we did the analysis of which represented growth accounted for Guatemalan companies from the food and beverages sector. Definitely, Mexico and the United States are our main markets, after the Central American region and therefore, we seek to strengthen the SMEs to seize them and invite entrepreneurs to know more fully the opportunities of these countries, declared Menéndez.

From finding the terminology used in International Trade, economic data, consumers, Trade Balance, whether from Mexico or the United States, in addition to the top 25 products imported and exported by each sector of these countries. This is the information business operators of food and beverage will find on the export guides mentioned.

What we want eventually is that companies count on different market guides to enable them to consider diversification, new opportunities and actions that promote the export of products of the sector and thus, we can provide to SMEs a greater opportunity for growth, because that results in more foreign earnings, more employment opportunities, more dynamism on the incorporation of all exporting sectors, as it has been for the last 30 years in AGEXPORT, concluded Menéndez.

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Mariangel Ruiz
mariangel.ruiz@agexport.org.gt
502 2422-3400 3429
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