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[Press Release] Chilean Cherries – Caring for Every Healthy Moment!

November 13, 2020

This content has been published as provided by its author. It has only been modified from its original version to follow Produce Report editorial guidelines and for necessary website formatting.

Santiago, Chile – The Chilean Cherry Committee of the Chilean Fruit Exporters Association (ASOEX) reports that the Chinese market has consolidated its position as a vital and leading global export destination for cherries from Chile, with significant potential for sustained growth in the future.

China is now the largest export market in the world for cherries from Chile, and trade remains on an upward trajectory owing to the solid bilateral relationship between the two countries. This is supported by the world-class efforts of the professional growers who form part of the Chilean Cherry Committee to supply a safe and healthy product that consistently exceeds market expectations.

Cherries are a key export product from Chile to China, and according to initial forecasts from the Chilean Cherry Committee, global exports of fresh Chilean cherries are projected to increase by 35.8% to 310,352 tons during the 2020/21 season, of which a large proportion is expected to be enjoyed by Chinese consumers.

According to Ronald Bown, chairman of ASOEX, “Chile is incredibly proud to call the Chinese market one of our leading export destinations for fresh fruit. Despite the unprecedented challenges presented by the global coronavirus pandemic, our industry did not stop exporting fresh fruits last season (2019/20), and complied with all of our international commitments.”

Bown continued, “During the 2019/20 season, Chile sent 464,709 tons of fresh fruit to China, a growth of 3% compared with the previous season. The main fruits exported to China included cherries (207,775 tons), table grapes (111,487 tons), plums (59,464 tons) and nectarines (29,810 tons), among others.”

Bown went on to explain, “Chinese consumers are demanding in terms of the quality of the food they consume, hence our industry is committed to guaranteeing the safest and healthiest cherries for export. The growers and exporters of the Chilean Cherry Committee are undertaking important efforts and investing significant economic resources to secure and facilitate cherry production and exports across the supply chain by adhering to strict safety and hygiene practices both at an orchard and a packing level.”

The industry is complying with not only local Chilean regulations but also international protocols established by the World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. These include the need for social distancing, wearing of face masks and the reinforcement of hygiene practices both in the workplace and at home, as well as when commuting to and from work. Safety is a key driver behind these efforts by the industry, and this includes not only safe practices at the orchard and packing levels but also at Chilean port facilities, including, for example, the sanitization of containers before cherries are loaded for shipment to China.

To support the efforts of growers and exporters, a series of detailed manuals have been developed by ASOEX and the Fruit Development Foundation, the Chilean fruit industry’s research and development body. These manuals contain guidelines outlining the need for precautionary measures throughout the Chilean fruit value chain from harvesting, selection and packing to transportation and distribution. In order to facilitate the understanding of these guidelines among industry workers, the manuals have been translated into various languages and contain easy-to-follow graphical instructions.

Additionally, the Chilean fruit industry has recently published the third edition of its “Good Practice Guide for the Prevention of Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 in Fields, Farm Packing and Fruit Packing Plants.” This guide has received the seal of approval from the Chilean Ministry of Agriculture, in close coordination with the country’s Ministry of Health and Ministry of Labor.

Looking ahead to the upcoming 2020/21 Chilean cherry season, the industry plans to roll out an extensive promotional campaign in China for its cherries. This initiative will focus on promoting the food safety and security of the processes involved in producing and exporting fresh cherries.

The new promotional program will also be aimed at increasing consumption during festivities such as the Chinese New Year period and is furthermore designed to position Chilean cherries as a versatile and healthy ingredient for any meal occasion, including breakfast, lunch and as an after-dinner treat.

Chilean cherries will be actively promoted through major online and offline retailers, as well as at fruit stores throughout China. These activities will expand increasingly into regional cities, considering the strong growth in consumption already observed in China’s lower-tier cities.

Image: Chilean Cherry Committee/ASOEX

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