The support to small and medium enterprises that wish to export their products to the European Union (EU) is one of the benefits of the trade agreement that Ecuador maintains with the bloc.
Assistance is channeled through the Corporation for the Promotion of Exports and Investments of Ecuador (Corpei), the Ecuadorian Federation of Exporters (Fedexpor) and the Ministry of Foreign Trade.
The Corpei focuses on the strengthening of current exporters. Its program called “Export Des” started in February 2017 and is implemented in 36 months. This year, the 98 participating companies complete the final details to bring their products to the EU.
Ligia Estrella, director of the program, explained that the support is aimed at small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and associative projects. “Export Des” has a fund of $ 5’300,000 non-refundable that is delivered in goods and assistance.
The accompaniment is given in the areas of promotion, packaging and labels, quality and communication certifications. The SMEs they support are within the agroindustrial, floricultural, artisanal and personal care sectors. At the moment, the Corpei still has 15 places for quality advice; 20 for label and package design; and 40 for communication strategies.
Companies that bill up to $ 5 million and that have a minimum of 24 months of operation can participate. It is important that they have already exported or that their presence at the local level is already consolidated, said Estrella.
Four companies shared their internationalization experience. Galleti will export national coffee this family business specializes in Ecuadorian coffee. In its production, it links 320 women from Imbabura and Zamora. “Once installed in the domestic market we had to internationalize,” recalled with optimism his representative, Ena Escobar.
They began with the export of coffee as raw material until in 2015 the price of Ecuadorian grain lost competitiveness abroad. Galleti, instead of giving up, decided to prepare to sell a finished product. Now they are in a phase of implementation of all the quality manuals that the EU demands and they hope to make a first sale this year.
Café Galleti buys raw materials from women’s associations.- The company works with producers that belong to social organizations and also supports the Universidad Particular de Loja. Soon 100 more women will join your project.
Quinoa snacks arrive abroad
Iván Tapia saw in quinoa an opportunity to make a cereal focused on children and adults who are looking for a healthy treat. Cinnamon, chocolate, vanilla and passion fruit flavor the snack that does not contain sugar or other chemicals. Its plant is located in Calderón (north of Quito), and from there they distribute their product to the main supermarkets in the country.
The cereal already reaches the US, Canada, Panama, Chile and Lebanon. Within the Corpei program, it is currently developing biodegradable packaging to enter the EU. Cereales Andinos exports with three certifications. – The snack does not contain sugar or chemicals and is free of transgenics.
The firm will invest EU funds in a metal detector to strengthen one of its certifications. Work on a new line of salt products.
FL Processed sells exotic fruits
The company has been in the Ecuadorian market for 25 years and was a pioneer in the exportation of exotic fruits. Its main clients are in North America, part of Europe and Asia. In 2016, the firm decided to specialize in processed products such as fruit pulp for both the Ecuadorian and international markets.
Now it implements a special package that allows the product’s useful life to be up to six months, since durability was the main obstacle they faced against their competition, said spokesperson Ana Cecilia Andrade.
In February they will exhibit their products at a fair in Berlin, Germany.
FL Processed take Ecuadorian fruits abroad
The company has existed since 1987. Their work began with six farmers and now they generate direct employment for 800 families and indirectly for 1,500. This growth was achieved thanks to the insertion in the foreign market.
Cacao Republic joins associations of two provinces
This company is part of the 10 associative projects supported by the Corpei. Its role is to be an “anchor company” for small farmers to access large markets. José Merlo, coordinator of socio-environmental projects, indicated that they work in Vinces (Los Ríos) where they will transform a traditional collection center into an ecological interpretation center that will serve for the exchange of knowledge and research. A second project is developed in the Joya de los Sachas along with three communities. (I)