3.5 Guatemala Food and Additional Suppliers

The local markets in Guatemala are plentiful and currently meet the local population demands in regards to food and non-food items.  If there was a requirement to scale up due to an emergency response items would be able to be sourced from the Central America region. 

Main Food Suppliers

There is no shortage of food supplies available in Guatemala via local markets as well as supermarkets.  Food supplies are either produced locally (fresh vegetables and fruit) or are imported from other provinces within Guatemala. 

The main food suppliers’ long list can be summarized as follows: 

Maize is the main source of calories and protein in the Guatemalan diet. White maize is more heavily consumed than yellow maize, but the latter is preferred in some regions and used as poultry feed. 

Every Guatemalan household consumes black beans: as a source of protein which is particularly valuable complement to cereals in regions where households have limited access to animal products. 

Consumption habits are strongly linked to tradition and culture. Rice is mainly consumed in urban and peri-urban, but some rural households consume it as well. Guatemala is highly dependent on imported rice. The market in Guatemala City is the largest in the country and feeds the highest concentration of the population.  

Guatemala Food Security Outlook 

Crisis Results to persist in targeted areas despite seasonal improvements. November 2022 

The stability in the exports of commercial crops and the better sales prices will allow the demand for temporary labour for the harvest to be in normal ranges. However, the purchasing power of households will be pressured by the high prices of food, transportation, and gasoline, particularly diesel, which is no longer subsidized. 

In most of the country, basic grain crops developed adequately and the rains favoured plant growth; since the end of September the fresh grain began to flow in the markets. At the national level, harvests have been reported in ranges close to the average, especially for surplus and commercial farmers. 


The Famine Early Warning Systems Network is a leading provider of early warning and analysis on food insecurity. Created by USAID in 1985 to help decision-makers plan for humanitarian crises, FEWS NET provides evidence-based analysis on approximately 30 countries. Implementing team members include NASA, NOAA, USDA, USGS, and CHC-UCSB, along with Chemonics International Inc. and Kimetrica. 

Aside from lower production costs, other advantages that domestic companies like these enjoy over their multinational rivals include strong distribution networks (which cover both major cities and provincial areas, as well as modern and more traditional retail channels) and superior knowledge of the traditional tastes and preferences of Guatemalan consumers. 

The entry into the market of recent corn and bean crops, which usually drives the seasonal decline in prices, has been barely perceptible this year as prices have remained well above average. The price reduction between August and September 2021 was 11 percent, while between August and September of this year only a 1 percent decrease is reported. In September, wholesale prices for corn and beans were 62 and 41 percent above the five-year average, respectively. Other causes, in addition to the influence of international factors on prices, pushed prices above normal, such as the high price of fuel, particularly diesel, and the poor state of the roads. After the storm Julia, the damages caused by the heavy rains have increased the cost of freight transportation. The localized losses of basic grains due to rains and speculation have also contributed to this situation. 

Tropical Storm Julia-22, impact. 2022 

The passage of storm Julia at the beginning of October particularly affected the region of the Northern Transversal Strip and the Polochic area. In these areas, the soils were already saturated, so the rains quickly caused damage and loss of basic grain crops. It was the farmers in these areas who suffered the most, since the maize crops were already drying on the land (in doubles) or already harvested in the drying process in their homes where they do not have appropriate spaces for post-harvest handling. Damages and losses were also reported in land recently planted with beans from the Postrera cycle; as well as the deterioration of highways, roads and bridges that affected the movement of people and merchandise for several days and left some places cut off. On October 11, 2022, the government decreed a State of Calamity to respond to the effects caused by Tropical Storm Julia, but its actions have not yet been carried out until the end of October. 

For official pricing information please see: 

Disclaimer: Inclusion of company information in the LCA does not imply any business relationship between the supplier and WFP / Logistics Cluster, and is used solely as a determinant of services, and capacities.

Please note: WFP / Logistics Cluster maintain complete impartiality and are not in a position to endorse, comment on any company's suitability as a reputable service provider.

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