Ferrero to boost Chilean hazelnut plantings in 2017

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Ferrero to boost Chilean hazelnut plantings in 2017

Italian chocolate company Ferrero has announced it will expand its Chilean hazelnut plantings next year, with total hectarage expected to pass the 4,000 mark. 

Ferrero representative Guido La Tella

Ferrero representative Guido La Tella

In a release the entity said its short-term goal was to turn the South American country into the third-largest producer of European hazelnuts in the world.

The plantings will be carried out by Ferroro's Chilean subsidiary Agrichile.

In an event that brought together authorities, growers, and academic representatives, amongst others, Ferrero representative Guido La Tella emphasized that Chile would play a strategic role in the company's development.

"Producing European hazelnuts in the Southern Hemisphere is crucial for Ferrero to have fresh fruit throughout the year, and it is for this reason that we plan increase our plantations to more than 4,000 hectares in 2017," he said.

Agrichile currently has plantations and infrastructure in place to process the tree nuts, including three drying facilities and a deshelling plant in the Maule, Biobio and Araucanía regions.

The growth of European hazelnut production in Chile had been significant over recent years. According to figures from Office of Agricultural Research and Policy (ODEPA) director Claudia Carbonell said in 2000 there were only around 700 hectares, while the current figure stands at 18,000.

"Chile is major fruit-producing country and it is very positive to have producers that develop new plantations and help us to open new markets. Ferrero's work puts us in a good place to take our production to other countries," she said.

The event was held in the Italian embassy in the Chilean capital Santiago and was hosted by the ambassador Marco Ricci.


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