A quarter of the world's total agricultural exports will come from Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) by 2028, according to Fabrizio Opertti, Manager of the Integration and Trade Unit in the Inter-American Development Bank.
In this episode of the ConnectAmericas podcast, El Hub, Opertti explains that although the population from this region represents only 8% of the world's inhabitants, this side of the world feeds the rest of it. (...) that although LAC represents only 8% of the world’s population, its food contribution to the world is pretty significant.
Overall, Latin America and the Caribbean is the largest single exporter of food by contributing over 50% of global exports of products like bananas, sugar and soybeans, and with over 25% of coffee, beef, chicken and corn.
LAC Flavors, an event organized by the IDB through ConnectAmericas, brings together hundreds of these exporters with food buyers from around the world.
It is not surprising that, in what is considered one of the most important business forums in the Food and Beverage sector in Latin America and the Caribbean, LAC Flavors represents USD $80 Million in potential business, as reported after the previous edition that took place in Cali, Colombia.
"Latin American and Caribbean consumers spend a very high proportion of their income on food and beverages: from 20 to almost 60% in comparison to less than 10% of consumers income in the United States and Canada. This shows that we have an important domestic market,” Fabrizio pointed out.
Sebastian Pelaez is deputy manager of Smart Cooking, a company that produces avocado oil, and he was one of those entrepreneurs that closed business deals during the eleventh edition in 2019 held in Colombia.
"I brought as much product as I could fit in my suitcase and at this moment I’m sold out. It helped me a lot that the buyers are very serious, they are people who really know the market with serious buying intentions," said Pelaez, who continued to do business online as well after that.
The first LAC Flavors was held in Cancun, Mexico in 2009 and the event has been held throughout Latin America since then. This year, the event had to be reinvented to reach both buyers and suppliers in a virtual way.
"We have to reinvent ourselves at home, reinvent ourselves in the business. These are difficult times, but we are here. ConnectAmericas is here for you," concludes Jose Cabrera, who provides networking support for ConnectAmericas entrepreneurs.
Silvia Torres, from the company Vainilla Molina in Mexico, also spoke about her experience at LAC Flavors 2019 and recognized the importance of a platform like ConnectAmericas continue doing business.
"ConnectAmericas has been very helpful in bringing us to a LAC Flavors edition for the first time and we believe it has been a success. We've held nearly 10 meetings, so we think it's a very good level event where we can really close business deals," said the Guadalajara-based entrepreneur enthusiastically.
If you want to know more about the flavors of Latin America, why not try its wide variety of products like mango, guavas, pears, grapefruits, and avocados, to name a few? And to learn more about the food and beverages sector’s huge potential to be a booster of economic growth for the region, listen to this episode.
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