LIMA, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) -- Peruvian coffee producers dreamed of entering the Chinese market and would conduct a feasibility study to that end, a local coffee dealer said.
"We are trying to establish trade ties now by doing a market study," Julian Aucca Echarre, manager of the Coffee Growers Agrarian Cooperative, told Xinhua in an interview on the sidelines of the 2nd Peru Coffee Show 2012 that opened here Thursday.
"It's important to diversify the market, not just sell to the Europeans and to the United States, when we have such a great potential as the Asian market," he said, underscoring the huge business potential of China, a market of some 1.3 billion people.
The feasibility study of the Chinese market would be complemented with a profile of Chinese consumers, he said.
The biggest facilitator of the bilateral coffee trade came from the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the two nations that came into force in 2010, Echarre said
"Establishing closer ties with China helps a lot, especially for non-traditional products" such as coffee, he said.
Echarre, who promotes cultivation and commercialization of top-tier Peruvian coffee from the central regions of Huanuco and Tingo Maria, said he was optimistic that with the FTA and the feasibility study, Peruvian producers will soon realize their dream of accessing the Chinese market.
According to Echarre, so far this year, his cooperative alone has exported more than 1.2 million kilos of coffee to international markets.
"We have developed our brand and we have sold our product in the most demanding coffee markets in the world, so we have no trouble in placing our products in Asia," he said.
The coffee industry, alone with cocoa, were the backbone of Peru's agri-exports, with coffee exports surpassing 1.59 billion U.S .dollars last year.
At the Peru Coffee Show, the Coffee Growers Agrarian Cooperative is participating with 10 stands, together with 150 other exporters from 25 regions throughout the Andean country.
Echarre said the three-day event will help suppliers establish contact with buyers from an estimated 25 visiting countries.
Peru Coffee Show, the country's largest coffee fair is being held at the Jockey Club Convention Center, a 25,000 square-meter venue. The event promotes the production of high-quality specialty coffees, including organic coffee, of which Peru is one of the world's main producers.
Last year, Peru's organic coffee exports were above 856,000 quintales (each quintal is 100 kilos), or more than 245 million dollars.
Only 5 percent of Peru's production is for domestic consumption, as the rest is earmarked for export.
Echarre said that central Peru, where his production center is located, is considered one of the largest producers of organic and high-quality coffee.
Among the best quality beans grown in Peru are arabica, typica, caturra, catimores and Bourbon, all in high demand among coffee aficionados.
Peru's organic production is also concentrated in the southern region of Puno, where Tunki Coffee is produced and exported to the world' s leading restaurants and hotels.
Among the biggest consumers of Peruvian coffee are Germany, considered the single largest market, followed by the United States, Holland, Belgium and France.