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[Press Release] New Chilean Blueberry Committee President: “Consistency Is Key”

November 11, 2019

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.

New Chilean Blueberry Committee President Calls for Continued Product Consistency

During the board session of the Blueberry Committee held this month, Felipe Silva, General Manager of Zurgoup, was unanimously elected as the new president of the Blueberry Committee, after the departure of Felipe Juillerat from Hortifrut.

Assuming his new position, Silva pointed out that, “It is a very special moment for the blueberry industry. Not only in Chile – changes in international supply are generating different challenges worldwide.”

In the case of the Chilean blueberry industry, Silva pointed out numerous challenges including that, “It is crucial to advance in achieving greater consistency in regard to the condition of arrival of our fruit. The new market reality with more competition demands it. If we do not do this, we could affect our leading role as a fresh blueberry supplier, which we have managed to construct over so many years.”

At the same time he pointed out that, “Chile has a proven food safety record, and we have a product with a spectacular and sweeter taste, so there is the potential for us to be a preferred supplier without a doubt, but we must reach new and existing markets with greater product consistency. We must also continue making progress in developing blueberry consumption in different parts of the world.”

Silva, in addition, highlighted the work that the industry has done regarding varietal replacement, which has allowed the Chilean industry to arrive to market with a better quality fruit, additionally highlighting that the “improvements in supply chains, such as the work undertaken to reduce the transit times to markets like Europe have been important steps forward.”

In that sense, the new president of the Committee explained that, “The leadership of the Committee is key to advance, both in terms of the quality and condition of the product, and in the activities of promotion and expansion of commercial opportunities for the Chilean industry. As a Committee, we have played an important role in terms of quality, which has been reflected in the quality standard presented by the Committee, which will help the industry to better compete with other origins.”

Finally, Silva indicated that, “I take this responsibility with enthusiasm, and I hope to contribute from my experience of several years in this industry. I think it is still time to achieve all of the above, putting into practice and becoming aware of the challenges we see in this new scenario of the blueberry industry.”

Felipe Silva will be in office until May 2020, when the Board meets again and elects a new president for a tenure of two years, where he could eventually be re-elected.


Image: ASOEX

Andres Armstrong, Executive Director of the Chilean Blueberry Committee (left) and Felipe Silva, President of the Chilean Blueberry Committee (right)