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[Press Release] Giddings Cerasus Celebrates End of Cherry Season

March 27, 2024

This content has been modified from its original version. It has been edited for content and style, as well as to follow Produce Report editorial guidelines and for necessary website formatting.

Giddings Cerasus, better known in China as “Xiaomifeng” (“little bee”) on account of its golden bee logo, has now drawn the 2023/24 Chilean cherry season to a close with the late-harvest Cerasina varieties Final 12.1 and Final 13.1, which were developed by German geneticist Peter Stoppel. For a second consecutive year, the Chilean company has delighted the market with these late-harvest varieties, which have captivated the interest of innumerable customers across China through their excellent quality and prices.

This year, Giddings Cerasus went one step further by celebrating the end of the cherry season at the three largest markets in China for imported fresh fruit — Guangzhou, Jiaxing and Shanghai — in partnership with its key distributors in China, Joy Wing Mau, Higo and Riverking.

The celebration took place on March 22 and was attended by diplomatic and trade commissioners, wholesale market directors and numerous buyers.

Multiple Origins

Giddings Cerasus is a Latin American multinational headquartered in Chile that specializes in the production of cherries. With growing operations in both Chile and the United States, the company places a strong focus on exporting to China and other Asian markets.

Since its first steps in China, the strategy of Giddings Cerasus has been to position itself as a sustainable, trustworthy and quality supplier of fresh cherries. The Xiaomifeng label is now one of the most prestigious Chilean brands on the Chinese market, and for more than five years it has also been gaining a strong position with cherries from the United States.

According to Ramón Arrau, CEO of Giddings Cerasus, “As a company, we have started this long journey of targeting the Chinese market beyond the traditional time frame of Chinese New Year. Today we can see from the markets that we are in a privileged position with Cerasina varieties Final 12.1 and 13.1. We are cherishing this moment and foresee our company growing in cherries from multiple origins and expanding the foothold of our brand in more countries across Asia.”

Varieties, Production and Forecast

The Final 12.1 and Final 13.1 varieties are grown in the south of Chile, specifically the city of Rio Negro in Osorno province. This area is approximately 900 kilometers from the valleys of Curicó and San Fernando, Chile’s main region for cherry cultivation.

Although Rio Negro provides an excellent environment in terms of good weather, pure soil and clean water coming from the Andes mountains, cherry cultivation here requires specific varieties well suited to the area, and the Cerasina varieties have proved to be a good choice. This part of Chile is referred to as the Lake Region owing to its many lakes and rivers, which provide an exceptional new production base for growing late-season and extra-late-season varieties.

According to Gonzalo Larrain, commercial manager of Giddings Cerasus, “As a company, we are growing in plantations for these varieties and also experiencing an interesting demand from other companies who wish to obtain sublicenses to grow these varieties. We forecast strong growth in the future.”

Positive Feedback

In terms of market response, the last Chilean cherries of the season to reach China sold rapidly and buyers were left eager for more. Giddings Cerasus has now shipped approximately 200,000 kilograms of these varieties and for the closing activity has increased its shipments by sixfold from last season, enjoying a leading position and strong feedback from its distributors and clients. The last batch of cherries from Giddings Cerasus sent to the market arrived on the vessel Seaspan Belief on March 18, with more than 90,000 kilograms.

According to Gonzalo Matamala, general manager of Giddings Fruit Asia & China, “Final 12.1 and Final 13.1 are among the few so-called ‘new varieties’ of cherries that stand out from the crowd, primarily because they provide firmness and flavor with longer transit times, allowing distributors to market and sell them through different channels in the Chinese retail ecosystem.”

Mia Lu, procurement director of Higo Jiaxing Fruit, another of the distributors participating in the activity, said, “This is our second year closing the Chilean cherry season in China, with the Cerasina variety packed under the Cerasus Xiaomifeng label. Our customers were calling us two weeks ago to make bookings on this last cherry shipment — it is impressive how much potential this variety has.”

According to Sean Chen, commodity director of Riverking, “I have tried fruit from this genetic program from the USA and now we are marketing in Shanghai from our strategic partner Giddings Cerasus, and must admit this fruit is strong and flavorful, becoming a strong leader in the late part of the season.”

The 2023/24 Chilean cherry season in China started at a gradual pace and ended with a complete success across the whole industry, from the perspectives of both volumes and prices.

This year’s celebration marks the end of another successful Chilean cherry season as well as the start of planning for the next one. The Chilean cherry industry is expanding its volumes and Giddings Cerasus is leading the extension of the season far beyond the traditional time frames.

For more information, please contact:

Gonzalo Matamala O.

Giddings Fruit

General manager – APAC & China

Email: gmatamala@giddingsfruit.com

Images: Giddings Cerasus

This article is also available in Chinese. Read the Chinese article.

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