Israel opens its doors for Chilean walnut exports
Israel has opened up access for Chilean shelled walnut imports after a year of negotiations, addressing what has become a high priority for exporters to meet strong buyer demand.
Chilean Walnut Commission executive president Andrés Rodríguez described the Israeli market opportunity as "very relevant" for the Chilean industry.
"Today walnuts are in a situation of considerable growth. Chile has more than 30,000 hectares planted, so the truth is that the marketing opening is a fundamental tool for us to be able to project the placement of our product over the long term," Rodríguez told www.freshfruitportal.com.
The industry representative said Chilean growers were receiving great interest from Israeli importers, and that phytosanitary requirements reached under the new deal were no different to those in other markets.
"There was already latent demand which established contact between the parties, and obviously, before the season started we had to strengthen those commercial bonds to be able to start the season with a more defined outlook."
Rodríguez said Chilean growers were preparing the inaugural shelled walnut exports to Israel, however he could not speculate yet on expected volumes.
"Today we do not have a clear estimation because it is a market that is clearly addressed by the U.S. and it is not like other markets that receive Chilean product indirectly and one more or less has to estimate and know how the reception of the product has been," he said.
"I believe that we have to let the market run a bit to be able to estimate forecasts for the future."
The executive said the commission had not yet considered undertaking promotional campaigns, but did not rule out their possibility in future campaigns.
"Being able to announce ourselves to Israeli importers, and projecting that we can do a campaign in the future, would be very good for accompanying demand development for our product.
"But for now, it is more than anything a communicational campaign focused on the top importers and specialized media."