Chile launches citrus action plan after frosts

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Chile launches citrus action plan after frosts

A Chilean citrus committee has launched an action plan to prevent the export of damaged fruit in the wake of recent frosts.

The Association of Exporters' (ASOEX) Citrus Committee has launched the plan in response to recent low temperatures in the country's V (Valparaiso), VI (O'Higgins) and Metropolitana regions, which reached lows of -4°C (25°F) in some cases.

"Different producers, who have registered temperatures of less than -1.5°C (29°F) and -2.5°C (28°F) for two hours in lemon and orange orchards respectively, should stop harvests in order to evalute the internal damage it has caused in the fruit within 10 days," the committee said in a release.

"This is in order to prevent the export of fruit that has been damaged by low temperatures and thus protect the reputation of Chile as a quality citrus-supplying country to different markets.

"Because these heavy frosts have affected the country for two consecutive seasons, the committee has decided to conduct a workshop soon for producers and exporters, with the aim of presenting the various alternatives available today in the market for frost control."

The workshop will be assisted by Universidad de Chile professor Fernando Santibáñez, along with participation from the Fruit Development Foundation, frost control system providers, CORFO representatives and Banco Estado.

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