Recently, we featured the Chilean fruit industry and gave some background detail about one of the global powerhouses of fruit production, which supplies large volumes of premium quality fruit to New Covent Garden Market. This time, we asked Nicolás Poblete, trade commissioner at ProChile in the UK, what makes Chile such a successful player on the world stage
Chile is a leader in global fruit production and your industry is also recognized as innovative, through organisations such as ASOEX, the Fruit Development Foundation and Agrocap. How has that innovative instinct contributed to the growth of Chilean fruit exports?
The Chilean industry is in a constant state of adaptation and growth, to meet the ever-changing tastes and demands of consumers in all corners of the world. Across the industry, strong innovative instincts, a clear vision of the future and the use of technology in the cultivation, production and processing processes, are combined with modern infrastructure and export logistics. The focus is not just on selling more fruit, but also on our continuing ability as a country to contribute to the health and well-being of consumers, which is reflective of people’s ever-evolving desires and concerns around the world.
The industry has implemented great scientific and technological advances in recent years, which in turn
has added significant value to the products we export. Every single year, fruit growers are presented with new technological challenges. In this scenario, experts say that the key is to increase fruit research, development and innovation and that’s what the Chilean industry has done.
As ProChile, we not only seek to support exporters of goods and services from consolidated sectors, but also those entrepreneurs who deliver incremental innovative solutions (improving existing processes) and disruptive solutions (processes that bring radical changes) that make them competitive, and who, in short, will contribute to the sophistication of the export matrix.
Tell us a little more about ProChile’s work in the UK, particularly how it aims to increase sales of Chilean fruit here. How can wholesalers benefit from the work you do?
ProChile is the Export Promotion Agency of the Government of Chile. Through its commercial office in the United Kingdom, it supports importers and distributors in the UK market to find suppliers according to their needs, through the wide portfolio of varieties and territories that Chile has.
Additionally, it can support fresh fruit retailers and other points of sale to accelerate the rotation and sale of these products through promotional campaigns to position Chilean products among consumers.
What are the biggest challenges facing your industry right now and how are you overcoming them?
Today the Chilean fruit industry has a great challenge: generating sustainable processes to achieve low-impact products that contribute to our adaptability and ability to mitigate climate change. Research, innovation and the adoption of new technologies are key elements to enhance the sustainability of the sector. All this is taking place within the context of high climate variability, that impacts all stages of the supply chains in different ways and at different levels: from competition due to scarce resources, low availability of soil for agricultural production, to how to make companies more resilient.
The various Chilean agroindustrial sectors, including fruit, have defined a roadmap on how they will face the challenges that the food of the future brings and the changes necessary to become a more sustainable industry. In this sense, they have proposed a series of initiatives that contemplate the efficient use of water, the use of renewable energy for production, waste management and adoption of new technologies, among others.
On the other hand, one of the main challenges that Chile faces in the context of exports, given the fluctuating global marketplace in recent years, is the need to maintain a position of trust, excellence and quality, adapting quickly to the requirements and regulations of global markets.
Competitiveness in international markets is essential, which requires not only the capacity to maintain competitive prices, but also an ability to truly differentiate through product safety and security, with consistently high standards of quality and traceability.
Furthermore, Chile’s trade has opened up to a wide and rich diversity of international markets, which means adhering to different regulations, consumer demands and health requirements in each destination country. This can, of course, represent a logistical and administrative challenge for exporters and it consequently drives us to be at the forefront of our industry; complying with these various requirements with the support of certifications, good practices, seals of origin and sustainability, amongst other things.
Where can anyone who wants to know more about Chile’s fruit industry go for information? From wholesalers who want to work with Chilean fruit, to retail and catering clients who want to incorporate it into their offer and consumers who want to buy it.
ProChile, through its One Click Import tool, connects British importers with Chilean exporters in less than a week. For this, you only need to complete a short form indicating the data of the importing company and the products to be imported, after which you will receive a response and support from the ProChile office network.
The form is found at the following link: One Click Import
Likewise, the Association of Fruit Exporters of Chile (ASOEX) can provide relevant information for British companies on each of the fruit industry sectors through its website, and sector-specific information offered by different committees in those sectors on a day-to-day basis to support the marketing and export of these fruits.
More information at: https://fruitsfromchile.com