Chilean cherry industry continues Chinese focus

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Chilean cherry industry continues Chinese focus

Chilean cherry producers have been optimistic in the first two weeks of the season, despite difficulties created by this year's frosts.cherriy orchards ffp

Chilean Cherry Committee president Cristián Tagle said the industry hoped to produce around 11.5 million 5-kg boxes this year, with a key focus on China.

"China has been one of the most important markets," Tagle said.

"The relationship has been good, more fluid. But there are also a lot of restrictions in all of the phytosanitary protocols they have given us. So we are always very aware of the norms they are imposing."

A number of varieties are sent to China, primarily Bing, Lapins and Sweetheart.

"Last season we exported about 8 million boxes [to China] and this year will be similar. We might have a little more, around 8.5 million boxes," he said.

With respect to promotional efforts in Asia, Tagle said the committee is working on a campaign to encourage sales, especially during Chinese festivals.

"As a committee, we are carrying out promotional activity for the second consecutive year. This consists of meetings with importers, promotions at sales points and exhibits on television programs  to announce the arrival of Chilean cherries for festivals," Tagle said.

"This is our main market, without a doubt, which means we aren't focusing on expansion to other markets that haven't opened yet, like Korea and Japan. We are also doing promotional activity in the U.S. on a lesser scale but we are also starting to signal to the industry that Chilean cherries will arrive earlier and with greater volume."

Tagle commented that Chile is already working on a protocol to export cherries to South Korea.



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