Chile’s kiwi industry to tackle its image problem

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Chile’s kiwi industry to tackle its image problem

The Chilean government and kiwi producers are set to take on the image problem the nation’s fruit has in foreign markets, according to local business newspaper Diario Financiero.

Agriculture Minister José Antonio Galilea will meet with exporters associated with the nation’s Kiwi Committee during the week of Jan. 31 to develop ways to improve quality and competitiveness.

The push for standards stems from a South Korean supermarket chain’s exclusive agreement to import only New Zealand kiwis signed last May. In addition, the fruit from Chile did not meet the supermarket’s quality standards, according to the report.

According to Carlos Cruzat, general manager of the Kiwi Committee, one exporter with low standards is enough to give Chile a negative image. The kiwi from Chile, the world’s third-largest producer of the fruit, is perceived as having uneven quality with some exporters shipping good fruit and others sending  low-quality fruit.

The meeting aims to give small producers incentives to adopt new standards of maturity for kiwi in order to standardize the quality throughout the industry, Cruzat said, according to the website.

Antonio Walker, president of Chilean fruit growers association Fedefruta, said that about 80% of kiwi growers are in the association and that he wants to bring in the rest to increase Chile’s competitiveness, the website said.



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