Exporters need to grasp demanding Chinese customers, says Lantao
Lantao Chile manager Marcela Ubilla told delegates at this year's FRUITTRADE event in Santiago to concentrate on raising standards and gaining greater insights into Chinese buyer demands.
"More exporters and producers have to go to China to understand how the market operates and the produce the country requires. The Chinese know what is good and they really know what they want," she said.
In particular, they want grapes which are of top quality and almost as "crunchy" as an apple, stressed Ubilla.
"They want produce which will last and which is not going to rot."
She added that when it came to grapes, Chile was under pressure with tough competition from Australia and South Africa. She added one of the country's challenges was to produce a ligher version of the popular seedless Crimson Red variety.
Delegates heard that the Chilean seedless Thomson grapes were doing well in terms of export volumes, but profit margins were low with exporters looking to re-direct sales to more lucrative markets such as South Korea.
"We need to develop our own varieties and incorporate ones which will be useful," said Ubilla.