Exports, however, have garnered far better results, with increasing shipments sent to the U.S. and some Asia countries.
That is according to Gerardo Trufelo, logistics and export manager at Agricola HC, whose star product is the cherimoya, but also produces papayas, pomegranate, grapes and lemons.
The total cherimoya harvest of this year came in at 150 metric tons (MT), or around 35,000 boxes – 9,000 boxes fewer than expected due to a national strike by public sector workers during November.
Officials from Chile’s Agricultural and Livestock Service (SAG) were involved in the strike.
“We were not about to achieve the production we had forecast because of the strikes, as our facilities were not inspected,” he told www.freshfruitportal.com.
“We only had problems relating to the strike, as there were no issues with the weather…and we also had excellent pollination during the season.”
The fruit quality, color and taste had also been of a high standard this year, leading to a good reception in the export markets.
The U.S. receives 80% of the company’s cherimoya exports, with the rest supplying Japan and the domestic market.
The representative added only one other company, Rosales, was permitted to export the tropical fruit from Chile.
In the domestic market, the fruit is sold solely to supermarkets in the capital Santiago.
Cherimoya pulp, which Agricola HC produces in its processing plant, is also sold on the local market.
“We don’t have any plans to take this product to the international market, as we have had very goo results in the country, and the demand is increasing every year,” he said.
SAG recently announced more strike action will be carried out on Dec. 13.