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Chilean Agriculture Minister Leads Delegation to Beijing

October 19, 2023

On Oct. 16, the eighth Chile Week, organized by the Chilean export promotion bureau ProChile, made its way from Shenzhen to Beijing. A delegation comprising Chilean government officials, business leaders and representatives from over 50 companies embarked on a series of inspections and promotional activities.

On the afternoon of Oct. 16, Esteban Valenzuela Van Treek, the Chilean Minister of Agriculture, along with representatives from the Chilean government and businesses, including Miguel Canala, general manager of the Chilean Fruit Exporters Association (ASOEX), Claudia Patricia Soler, executive director of ASOEX’s Chilean Cherry Committee, and Charif Christian Carvajal, ASOEX’s marketing director for Europe and Asia, paid a visit to a BHG store in Beijing’s Sanlitun district.

The store manager and the head of fresh produce procurement extended a warm welcome to the delegation and offered an in-depth introduction to BHG and its retail landscape. At present, BHG, which is renowned as a premium supermarket providing high-quality global products, manages 36 stores in Beijing. In 2022, sales of fresh Chilean cherries alone reached an impressive $3 million.

During the visit, ASOEX representatives also provided the delegation with a comprehensive overview of the association’s initiatives in China over the past few seasons, which have greatly enhanced the distribution of Chilean fruits in wholesale markets, mid-to-high-end supermarkets and fruit stores. 2023 marks the eighth year of ASOEX’s promotional efforts on the Chinese market. With the increasing recognition of Chilean fruits among Chinese consumers, the association’s promotional endeavors have also entered a new phase.

In the 2022/23 season, Chile’s fresh cherry production reached 494,000 metric tons, with exports totaling 415,000 metric tons, according to data released by agricultural consulting company iQonsulting. For the upcoming season, ASOEX plans to extend its reach to 24 retail channels across 55 cities in China, while intensifying promotions in 25 key cities. The association also aims to explore markets near four strategic cities: Wuhan, Hangzhou, Chongqing and Qingdao. The promotional campaigns for this season’s Chilean cherries will revolve around the theme “a bite of happiness to my life,” with the goal of creating an emotional bond with consumers through cherries. Over the next four seasons, ASOEX intends to enhance the market penetration rate of Chilean cherries in China and increase the purchase volume among targeted consumers.

As Chinese consumers continue to demand larger, more diverse and tastier fruits, along with an expanding range of purchasing options, ASOEX will adapt its marketing and promotional strategies to position Chilean fruits as the top choice for Chinese consumers. This endeavor is expected to result in greater availability of high-quality Chilean fruits for consumers in second- and third-tier cities.

As the visit came to an end, Valenzuela and the other delegation members expressed their appreciation for China’s locally produced fruits after sampling various items such as pomegranates and mangos. Through this visit, the members of the delegation have deepened their understanding of the current developments in China’s retail sector. With the increasing presence of Chilean fruits on the Chinese market, the economic and trade ties between the two countries will continue to become more interconnected.

Images: ASOEX

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