Chile Prunes works to maintain markets with lower volumes - FreshFruitPortal.com

Chile Prunes works to maintain markets with lower volumes

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Chile Prunes works to maintain markets with lower volumes

Although 2013 will experience lower availability of Chilean prunes, the South American country anticipates higher product quality and size.chileprunes

In an interview with www.freshfruitportal.com, Chile Prunes CEO Andrés Rodríguez said the challenge today is to pursue international markets with consistency, while considering lower availability.

Estimates set production for the year at 50,000 metric tons (MT), a 33% drop compared to the previous season.

"At a global level, Chile currently has major importance compared to other years," Rodríguez said, pointing to Chile's peak in exports.

"Last year we exported close to 76,000 tons during the season and this year we're at 50,000. So basically we have to maintain our market presence with less fruit and good product condition. But clearly it is going to be a difficult year for availability."

In general market volume is expected to decline due to drops in production from California and Argentina as well.

International and local promotion

This year Chile Prunes will hold promotional activities in Asia, particularly China, Eastern Europe and Mexico.

The entity has also collaborated with ProChile in the Middle East. Through Gulfood Dubai 2013, the organization participated in a commercial tour of North Africa, with a focus on Egypt, Algeria and Morocco.

"These are three extremely important markets for plums in particular," Rodríguez said.

"These are also markets with their own complexities and formalities, which are things you have to learn to participate in a more active way. Chile is not as present on these markets as it should be."

Locally, the Chilean plum market is small. For Rodríguez, there is important work to be done, which the organization is already advancing through the government's "Choose Healthy Living" program.

"We deliver samples to the program at schools and sporting events to educate Chilean consumers more about this product," he said.

"Currently Chileans use the product very little in their daily diet and we have been able to generate a lot of product knowledge. We also have promotional material at food fairs and are working to intensify work with the government."

Photo: Chile Prunes

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