The meeting took place during the Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) Commission on Phytosanitary Measures (CPM) in Incheon, South Korea on April 6.
Representatives from the Chilean Fruit Exporters Association (ASOEX) and Chile’s Agriculture and Livestock Service (SAG) took part in the meeting with officials from South Korea’s Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency (QIA), as well as Chile’s commercial attaché to South Korea, Patricio Parraguéz.
Key issues discussed included access for Chilean avocados, Chilean pomegranates for industrial use, and improving existing export protocols.
QIA indicated it had received Chile’s formal request for avocado market access which included all the technical background about the product, thus starting the first of eight total stages needed to gain approval; a process it said could take approximately three years.
ASOEX said the process could even be shorter given South Korea does not have an avocado industry, and that in 2016 the country authorized import access for Mexican avocados. Since 2013, the East Asian country has also been in negotiations with Peru for the same crop.
From South Korea’s agricultural perspective, the QIA expressed interest in starting a pest risk analysis for exporting Korean strawberries, mandarins, persimmons and chestnuts to Chile.
According to statistics from ASOEX, the Far East was Chile’s second-largest fruit export destination in 2015-16 with a year-on-year rise of 10.9% to hit 482,461 metric tons (MT).
China (including Hong Kong) represented 59% of Asia-bound shipments, followed by Taiwan (14%), South Korea (9%) and India (7%).