Chilean Walnut Commission looks to represent a greater share of exporters
The Chilean Walnut Commission (CWC) aims to expand its representation of Chile’s walnut growers, processors and exporters to better coordinate and confront today’s challenges, CWC executive president Andrés Rodríguez told FreshFruitPortal.com.
The CWC was formed at the end of 2009 in order to help position Chile’s walnuts in receiving markets. Chile is the leading walnut exporter in the Southern Hemisphere and one of the top five producing nations worldwide, Rodriguez said.
Currently the CWC represents around 50% of the walnut export industry, bringing together companies such as Anakena, Huertos del Valle, Valibfrut and Pacific Nut. But the commission aims to increase its membership.
“One of our principal objectives is to incorporate more processors and exporters to continue increasing our representation of the industry and join forces, arriving in the short term to include 75% of the industry,” Rodriguez said.
Cohesion of the industry is vital, the executive said, since the international market is very competitive. However the quality of Chilean walnuts is recognized in receiving markets, he added.
This competitiveness abroad has brought strong growth for Chile’s industry, thus increasing production and leading to new opportunities in alternative markets. This process of diversification brings new challenges such as reaching agreements to meet phytosanitary protocols in Asia, for example.
This will challenge the organization to keep exporters working toward a common goal.
According to Rodríguez, the current season will likely produce some 30,000 tons of walnuts, a number that is expected to double over the next four years.
“This brings a great opportunity, but at the same time a tremendous challenge,” Rodriguez added.
Currently around 80% of Chile’s walnut shipments are focused on five markets: Turkey, Brazil, Italy, Spain and Germany. Looking forward Rodríguez sees an opportunity to develop new markets in Asia Pacific and the Middle East.