Sales of the Popular and Solidarity Economy increased 9.39% in the first semester. Italy, USA and Russia were the main markets.
The Associations of the Popular and Solidarity Economy (EPS) registered 9.39% of their exports growth in the first semester of 2018, in comparison with the same period of 2017. From January to June of this year, said sector exported $ 177.57 million, while in the first half of 2017 the figure was $ 162.33 million.
The main destination was Italy with $ 71 million (39.98% of the total), the same that received more banana, cocoa, panela and toquilla straw hats. Other purchasing countries were the United States, Russia and the Netherlands.
“During the first half of the year, exports of EPS represented 2.78% of total non-oil exports. This reflects a growth of 0.24 percentage points, if we compare it with the same period of the previous year, which was 2.54%, “said Roberto Intriago, director of ProEcuador.
Bananas were the products with the highest representation abroad, with 87.94% of the total exports of the EPS. Other representative sectors in the same period were cocoa and processed; flowers and plants; and agroindustry (quinoa, peanuts and medicinal herbs).
Verónica Acosta, manager of the Sumak Mikuy Association, belonging to the indigenous communities of Cotacachi, said that the signing of the trade agreement with the European Union has allowed its native products, such as uvilla, ají rocoto, mortiño and melloco, enter that market.
Acosta said that they are currently in negotiations to enter France and Spain, where organic products are appreciated. “The opening of markets translates into opportunities for communities,” said Acosta, who acknowledged several limitations to accessing credit.
The head of ProEcuador highlighted that many of the exporting associations of the EPS have the seal of Fair Trade. To obtain it, it is necessary that they fulfill several requirements such as the creation of opportunities for economically disadvantaged producers; the payment of a fair price; that there is no child labor or forced labor; gender equality policies; respect for the environment, among others.
Another government strategy to strengthen exports is the e-Ecuador virtual platform. (I)