In the country of meat, the export of vegan and organic products gains space

10 Jun 2021

There is a significant offer, although they play against the high local costs and the permanent change of rules; 97% of the local food production is exported without preservatives, artificial additives or other chemicals.

Trade in organic products is growing rapidly in the world. According to data from the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (Ifoam), 162 countries -including Argentina- certified 37 million hectares in 2020, where 1.8 million producers work, generating a business of about US $ 62.8 billion annually . At the local level there is a significant offer of products of this type and more than 80 of vegetable origin are exported that do not have preservatives, artificial additives or other chemicals.

According to official data, the European Union is one of the main destinations for our products: in 2020 it received 46% of the exported volume, about 60,501 tons, of which 2,483 were destined for Italy.

The Organic Latin American export group from Argentina tells that they developed producers to meet the demand, they have nine rice in Corrientes and Entre Ríos; five of sunflower and eight of wheat and barley; they also make legumes (under the Going Natural brand) in Salta, Tucumán and Córdoba; sesame and chia. “In working with the producers, we make associations, with financial support and we collaborate in all the procedures for the certification of environmental sustainability”, describes Cristian Martínez.

The company reaches the whole world; sells to the United States (that market represents almost half of the consumption of this type of products), Canada, the European Union, they send rice to Japan, Vietnam, Hong Kong and Taiwan and negotiate with China to “unlock” the certification scheme since its norm is not compatible with any other. In Latin America they supply industries in Brazil, Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador. “We were born as exporters, 95% of our market is the world – explains Martínez-. We give added value to crops and follow the trend of ‘plant-based’ consumption, which has grown a lot. It is not a fashion, it is not casual. The vegan, the organic and the without TACC has been growing strong ”. He considers that Argentina still has a lot of potential to sell abroad although he remarks that “it plays against the permanent change of rules and very high costs. They are ballast ”.

Martínez emphasizes that the further the gate productions move away, “the less competitive they are” due to “packaging, labor costs, logistics, tax pressure, delays in VAT refunds and lack of financing.” It confirms that there is a market that demands and that the locals are “fighting to sell with added value, but they do not come with the costs”; calls for measures that encourage exporting SMEs that are “innovative and flexible.” From Villa Regina (Río Negro), Pura Frutta exports organic juices to Uruguay, Colombia and Brazil. They have a partnership with Moño Azul, producers of apples, who derive “high quality” apples that do not go to the market for aesthetics and they make the juices. Over time they added strawberry and kiwi. “It is the first organic juice in the country, it contains neither water nor sugar. From the fruit directly to the container ”, Marcos Mercado points out.

Globally, he says, juice is a consumer category that is growing the most. In 2018 they made their first shipment to Uruguay, they were 5,000 liters that they used to “learn”. “Unlike a commodity there has to be development behind it, a plan. After that we began to participate in fairs around the world that helped us to promote the export proposal; we are developing a 200 ml container for boys ”. In 2019 they closed an agreement with a supermarket of the Casino group in Colombia and are setting up a company in Brazil, from where they will operate in that country.

Arytza has been in the market for 14 years and has a line of 27 varieties of dressings, all 100% natural. They won awards in the United States and Ingaterra and three of their products are in the Mustard Museum in the United States. They began exporting six years ago and, since 2019, they have taken off. They operate with the United States, Germany, Canada, Paraguay, Uruguay and China. 30% of its production goes abroad.

Leo Merlo, founding partner, indicates that, globally, the consumption of dressings is higher, they have more penetration; it is a culturally installed concept. “Naturals like ours on certified organic primary production accompany that trend.” His is a B company (with triple social, economic and environmental impact) that basically competes with those of the United States and Europe; There is still no global brand in the segment, but Merlo understands that large industries will soon enter.


The case of Notco – a startup of Chilean origin with a presence in Argentina and Brazil – is different because it seeks to imitate the traditional flavor of dairy and meat without animals. In Argentina it does not have its own plants but rather works in association with producers; It has 25 products in four categories (not milk, not ice, not meat and not mayo). Its manager in the country, Mauricio Alonso, affirms that the pandemic opened opportunities and, in this line, they arrive in Uruguay as the first export market. “We are going with the flagships, it is a country that works with imported brands and the consumer is used to it; we will position ourselves for our quality and for being a more accessible proposal ”.

The company makes “formulations”; the Giuseppe algorithm studies combinations of plants to find out which textures, flavors and aromas they will generate and which could be more analogous to the flavors of meats. Alonso emphasizes that the Argentine not ice is the “best in the region” and they are working to be exporters; they also prepare the not dulce de leche. “It does not exist for the company; Giusseppe is in it and in Chile they already want him. Argentina has the specialty, the ‘brand’ so we plan to reach all of Latin America ”.

Casa Vegana, a brand created by Francisco Piñeyro Pacheco, arrives with its products at El Corte Inglés in Spain and at Makro for its European branches: “We reconvert some things and work to advance others. We are testing for milk based on peanuts and oats to give value to an Argentine product, we want to do that instead of importing chestnuts. We are competitive in price and quality ”.

As head of the Association of Plant-Based Producers, which brings together 80 companies, he points out that Argentina is “very well positioned” in the line of non-analogous products, a production that requires “an important technology.” Regarding the possibilities that exist in the world, he emphasizes that consumers “choose for genuine, the consumer looks at that and there are chances for SMEs”.

The case of Sri Sri Tattva, of Indian origin, is different. The company imports many of its inputs and has already put together an export plan. Mica Levy maintains that they have already begun to develop clarified butter (ghee in Indian); the destinations are the United States, Paraguay, Uruguay and Chile. They produce about 20,000 kilos per week in a plant in Villa María (Córdoba), Mantequera del Centro.

“There are many opportunities because its consumption is growing, it is used more and more for the noble attributes it has. For Argentina it is an alternative to add value to its dairy products; the dollar price is very attractive, he maintains. For organic dairy, the demand is very important ”. The company is also preparing to export healthy bars based on organic dates (imported inputs with national labor) with cocoa, cashew nuts, coconut and blueberries (local) to Paraguay and Uruguay.

Another brand that joined the exports with “meat free” products (without meat, made from plants that imitate the flavor of animal protein) as the beach head is Frizata, the 100% digital frozen food foodtech, it takes little For more than a month operating in Santiago de Chile, it will disembark in San Pablo (Brazil) and towards the end of the year in San Francisco (United States). The investment for this plan was US $ 3 million. The company was created a few years ago and operates in Córdoba, Rosario, Buenos Aires and La Plata. Now it began its expansion plan abroad following the international trend of a meat-free diet

Source: La Nacion