The ever changing Chilean Export Fruit Market
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Since 1960, there are records of Chile, as an exporter of Chilean Export Fruit . Since then, every year there have been new varieties of fruits, of which not all are suitable for export. In Chile, for a variety of fruit to be considered suitable for export, it must have a life of postharvest of 5 degrees Celsius for 25 days (in other words, it must have the capacity to be sent by sea). The only fruit that will never meet this requirement but will always be exported are cherries.
The varieties of cherries that are harvested between October and the first days of December each year, are exported by air, only serving a requirement for post-harvest life of 5 days. As for peaches and nectarines, “The world changes daily, as the genetics industry contributes annually with more than 100 new varieties between both species; today we count with hybrids such as Plum Pech, Plum Nectar, Plums Aprium or Aprium” says Jorge Ovalle Madrid, an expert on Chilean fruit varieties.
There are several varieties of apples suitable for export in Chile. Currently, refined apple flavors, subtle acids, more intense sugars and more marked colors are being searched for. “Varieties like the Galas and the new Grannys, are making waves with their new organoleptic qualities that last up to 12 months.” Assures Ovalle Madrid. As for plums, the various markets are accustomed to new colors, shapes, textures, colors of pulp, flavors from sweet to sour. “Plums will be the keynote of an unstoppable gene replacement, as demand in the North hemisphere does not stop rewarding innovation.” says Jorge Ovalle. In Chile, a variety of avocado (aguancate) is cultivated and although they also have access to different markets, every day the costs are higher and with a competitor that has impressive logistical advantages such as Peru, makes Chilean avocado export a challenge.
“I think we have to re build the industry, analyze the real strengths of today for a market that just wants quality and low prices. Mexico on the other hand will not fall asleep before the opening of a new market that is the U.S., its natural market, that if consolidated will leave Chile and Peru at crossroads looking at China as a market. The off-season is getting smaller.” Concludes Ovalle Madrid in his avocado export market analysis.
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