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Miami traders carve niches

Ecoripe Tropicals Inc., Miami, has carved a niche into the organic movement, supplying ginger from Peru, limes from Colombia, and avocados from the Dominican Republic.

It is also marketing the Genuine Coconut, which president Marc Holbik describes as “an innovative organic Thai coconut with an easy-open system to enjoy the water and meat.”

Better yet, the coconut and its packaging are “completely compostable, including the straw.”

Jalaram Produce Inc., Homestead, FL, also imports niche products from Central and South America and the Caribbean including the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Peru, and Honduras.

Tindora (akin to a mini cucumber), Chinese eggplant, Indian okra, American okra (also known as fancy okra), kantola (a gourd with a slight bitter taste), and Thai chiles lead the import list in popularity.

These delicacies have “always been in high demand” for Jalaram’s customers according to Cruz Castillo, salesman for Jalaram.

Recently, however, he says it has been easier to fill demand with more available supply. That said, trade and international product availability are still beyond any importer’s control.

When Dominican Thai chiles were banned from entering the United States in 2016 due to a pest outbreak, the resulting nine-month interlude of no product had a huge impact on revenue.

This is an excerpt from the most recent Produce Blueprints quarterly journal. Click here to read the full article.