Peruvian asparagus production, the largest in the world, is set to expand by an average of 15% annually over the next five years.
This year, Peru’s total exports look set to reach 80,000 tonnes of fresh crop, apart from that shipped to processing.
At present there are some 18,000ha under asparagus cultivation in Peru, of which 80% is growing green varieties. Over half of this area already complies with EurepGap agricultural practices.
Experts predict bumper Peruvian harvests will inevitably put pressure on traditional sources of asparagus for the UK, such as Spain and the US. The UK takes 2,000 tonnes a year of Peruvian asparagus and demand for the vegetable in the UK is motoring. TNS figures show sales in the 12 weeks to May 30 grew 30% year on year. During the British season, from late April to mid-June, sales rose 50%.
The industry says heavy emphasis on promoting the vegetable by retailers has helped to increase its profile substantially among consumers.
British growers are planting more hectares in a bid to keep pace with demand - 25% more this year alone.