New Chilean Fruit Producers Federation President discusses next steps

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New Chilean Fruit Producers Federation President discusses next steps

This week, the Chilean Federation of Fruit Producers of Chile (Fedefruta) announced a major change in leadership. The organization just introduced its new president, Aconcagua Valley farmer and businessman Víctor Catán Dabike. 

Catán is taking over Jorge Valenzuela Trebilcoc, who held the role since 2018.

Catán told that he is taking on the position with great courage, responsibility, and "with the tranquility of having a great board of directors in Fedefruta".

He indicated that he seeks to maintain the seal of the federation, "which is a collaborative seal between the private world and the public world, to be able to unite these two currents and be a support for farmers with all the problems they’re experiencing in the rural world, such as, for example, water availability and sanitary issues".

Catán said that some of the problems they are currently facing are related to the presence of fruit flies, as well as security issues.

"I intend to have agriculture continue being the engine of development, especially in the rural world. We have certain problems that have not been addressed, mainly everything related to water resources, that stalled growth. We have also had a fierce competitor in Peru," he said.

Related articles: Fedefruta Chile elects a new president

Regarding the national fruit growing sector, Catán said that "it has a very good footing, especially because it has the knowledge, the conditions, the Mediterranean climate, the soil, the water, and the infrastructure that other countries do not have". 

Concerning the latter, he highlighted the great advantage that the country has in terms of the proximity of its ports to ship fruit.

He commented that the sector needs to develop policies that are pro-agriculture and specially designed for fruit growing, "so that it can regain its position as a major economic activity, and for that, we need to sit down and analyze what is being done well by the private world and what is being done well by the public world, and see what is being done badly between the two and how we can do better together".

The Chilean Congress recently passed legislation to reduce the country’s legal working hours from 45 to 40. The move was one of the Boric administration’s key projects.

Regarding the newly enacted law’s impact on the fruit-growing industry, Catán said there’s a pending conversation to address the matter. He also warned about the productivity implications.

“We can compare ourselves with countries in the northern hemisphere, where they are four times more productive in one hour of work than we are, so this impacts costs, and the quality of work. We need to sit down with the government to see how we can break down bureaucracy," he added.

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