India opens doors to Chilean avocados, blueberries
The South American country's Agriculture and Livestock Service (SAG) told Fresh Fruit Portal avocados could be shipped to the new market during the remainder of the season, while blueberry shipments could begin from September.
Chilean Agriculture Under-Secretary Claudio Ternicier and Indian Agriculture Joint-Secretary Ashwani Kumar signed an agreement in Delhi establishing "positive terms" to concrete blueberry and avocado exports.
"This agreement was made possible thanks to a joint public-private effort over a long period of time, during which long negotiations and visits were carried out between representatives of both countries," Ternicier said.
He said both products would be exported under a Systems Approach
Chilean Ambassador to India, Andrés Barbe, highlighted India currently imported avocados from New Zealand and blueberries from the U.S. and Canada. There was therefore "enormous marketing opportunities" for both Chilean products, he believed.
"This agreement will allow us to diversify our exports and add avocados and blueberries to the exports of apples, grapes, kiwifruit, pears and cherries, increasing our presence in India" he said.
During the public-private visit to India, the Chilean delegation also set out alternatives to the methyl bromide fumigation treatment currently required for walnut exports, and established a timeframe to assess the possibility of Chilean dried plum exports without fumigation.
A release from the Chilean Minister of Agriculture highlighted that Indian Government representatives requested market access for various products, including mangoes and pomegranates.
During the 2015-16 season, Chile exported more than 35,000 metric tons (MT) of fresh fruit to India, representing a 70% year-on-year lift. Of the total, 90% corresponded to red apples, 9% to kiwifruit and 1% to table grapes.