Trio of fruit trade bodies created in Chile to help growers
Chile has created three new horticultural trade associations to represent raspberry, almond and hazelnut growers' interests.
Raspberry growers in the country's south in the IX (La Araucanía) and XIV (Los Ríos) regions are to have a new industry body that will look at consolidating production, website Elnaveghable.cl reported.
The Chilean raspberry industry has suffered from lack of orchard renewal and investment in new berries to extend its season, industry experts have claimed.
The country has also lost out to Mexican growers who are producing berries that are twice the size of Chile's fruit.
About 90% of Chile’s raspberry exports are frozen with Europe and the U.S. accounting for 76% of shipments.
In the last few years exports have declined due to greater competition from Mexico and Spain, which has higher yields and lower transport costs.
The new raspberry organization will bring together thousands of berry entrepreneurs, will air problems and think of alternative solutions for growers in the regions involved.
Chile's nuts get cracking
Chile's nascent hazelnut industry is to have its own growers committee aimed at commercially developing the sector, which currently has 13,000 hectares devoted to the fruit.
Pacific Nut general manager Rodrigo Larraín, said the sector has significant plantings covering different areas and geographical conditions.
"We have much to learn and develop, from technical aspects of production in orchards to maximize potential products to standardization and product development according to customers' needs."
Larraín said the industry needs to speed up the time required to make a new product known in the market place and on a technical level it must assess new varieties, development of specific pesticides and crop record registration.
Although Chile's almond production levels have remained stable, the sector belives a trade organization will enable it to grow.
Pacific Nut commercial manager Benjamín Herreros, said the creation of an almond-specific committee would enable the sector to share ideas.
"Our main goal is to understand our strengths and weaknesses and deal with the markets from a common vision. The development of an industry depends on the companies that compose it, it seems important to create an organization which sets common goals to improve and position the Chilean industry in foreign markets. "
Chile already has a trade body 'Chilenut', which is devoted to the export and production of walnuts, and associated with the country's Prune Committee.
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Chile's frozen raspberry volumes rose, values fell in 2011