Chilean Agro Business is very diverse
Chile is a leading producer and exporter of some of the world’s finest fruits, berries, vegetables, fish, shellfish, poultry, meats, and, of course, its premium wines.
Chile is the world’s largest exporter of fresh grapes (29%), plums (23%), and fresh fish fillets (22%); second largest exporter of frozen pacific salmon (30%), avocados (16%), and other frozen fish (10%). Chile is the fifth largest exporter in the world of wine (5%) and frozen pork meat (5%).[Source: Chilean International Economic Affair Figures 2006; Direcon.]
Chilean foods are consistently awarded for their taste and quality in international food competitions.
For example, Chilean olive oils have garnered international acclaim at competitions including the Leone D’Oro dei Mastri Oleari 2006, Parma, Italia, and the Sol d’Oro 2006, Diploma di Gran Menzione. In addition, a Chilean cheese received the American Cheese Society award, while Chilean lamb was recognized as the Best Organic Product from ANUGA.
As a southern-hemisphere country, Chile’s growing seasons run counter to the growing seasons of countries in the northern hemisphere.
Chile can thus supply the highest quality fresh fruits and vegetables to northern hemisphere countries during their winter months. Chilean vegetables, fruits, berries, fish, shellfish, and meats are exported to consuming countries as fresh, frozen and processed foods, in both regular and increasingly, in organic forms.
Chile’s prodigious food production is the result of the convergence of several factors:
- Exceptionally fertile soils and pristine waters are in large part the result of Chile’s natural geographical remoteness—the country has natural barriers that protect it from the diseases and parasites common to most other agricultural areas. Chile is considered one of the world’s naturally cleanest environments for food production. Chile’s diverse climates enable food production throughout the country. In the north, the desert provides habitat for goats, and tropical conditions for carica; the central Mediterranean climate is ideal for produce, olives and wines; the region to the south provides a habitat for dairy and salmon; Patagonia provides excellent conditions for meat production; and the cold Pacific waters are home to high-quality seafood.Chile’s agricultural statistics tell a story of dramatic growth
- Chile’s food industry, which includes fruit, salmon, wine, processed foods, meats, and seafood products, is one of the most dynamic sectors of the Chilean economy. It represents around 24% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and it is the second most important exporting sector.
- The Chilean food industry employs more than 1 million people, representing around 20% of the country’s workforce. It is expected that by the year 2030, the GDP generated by the food sector will account for more than 35% of Chile’s GDP and 1 out of 3 workers will have jobs within the sector.
- Chile is ranked 17th amongst the world’s leading food exporting countries. Its food exports have grown at an average annual rate of approximately 10% over the past 10 years, making it the world’s fastest growing food exporter. If this rate of growth continues, by 2014, Chile will be among the top nine food exporters in the world.
- Chile supplies more than 150 countries around the globe with fresh and processed foods and beverages.
- Chile’s diverse geography yields itself to many agricultural products. These are sold and used within the country and also make up a large percentage of Chilean exports to other countries.
Lumber and Wood Pulp
Chile has vast forested lands in its southern half. These trees provide the source for lumber, wood furniture, and other wood products such as wood pulp.
Chile’s slender shape hugs the Pacific Ocean from Peru in the north to Antarctica in the south. This huge coastline allows for a very productive fishing industry being the second largest world producer and exporter of salmon, short of Norway, the world’s current leader. Chile’s salmon industry is widely recognized for its advanced techniques and high-quality products. Salmon products range from fresh and frozen fish, to smoked and canned salmon. Chile exported over $2.2 billion worth of salmon products in 2006. Chile is an active participant in forming international agreements aimed at protecting and preserving the world’s fisheries. For example, Chile is a party to the United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea, signed in 1982 and ratified in 1997.
It is also a party to the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, signed in 1982, which is part of the Antarctic Treaty system.
Fruit Vegetables and Horticulture
Chile’s fertile central valley is ideal for growing many types of fruits, vegetables, vineyards and grains. Due to a favorable climate and geographic isolation that reduces foreign pests and diseases, Chile is able to have a thriving agriculture industry. As Chile sits in the southern hemisphere, its growing season allows fruit and vegetable exports to the Asia, USA, Canada, and Europe during their winter months.
Leading Chilean Agriculture Products
- table grapes and red and white wines
- dairy products
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