Chile: Growers step up pressure on currency policy ahead of presidential address
The president of Chile’s fruit grower’s federation, Fedefruta, has joined industry calls for the country’s government to take action against the falling U.S. dollar, according to a news release from Fedefruta.
“The time has come to rethink the monetary exchange policy in Chile,” Fedefruta President Antonio Walker said in a press conference in the capital of Santiago.
The call for action echoes a letter delivered to President Sebastián Piñera by a group of 16 grower organizations last week, led by the country’s exporters’ association Asoex and the growers’ association of Chile’s Region XI, one of the country’s most productive areas. The letter called for quick action and did not rule out demonstrations.
Walker’s statements come the day before Piñera, Central Bank President José de Gregorio and Agricultural Minister José Antonio Galilea are scheduled to appear at FruitTrade 2010, an international fruit industry convention to be held in Santiago October 6-7.
Growers demand that the government intervene to bring the U.S. dollar exchange to more than 550 Chilean pesos. As of Tuesday the dollar was worth 480 pesos.
Walker argues that Chile is losing jobs in its productive regions and its competitive edge abroad against other fruit-producing countries in the Southern Hemisphere.
“Before we were the king of fruit but now we have left the competitive trail,” Walker said.