A public-private delegation including representatives from Asoex, ProChile and the Chilean Kiwifruit Committee has been in Russia exploring ways of increasing fruit exports to the country.
The group held meetings with a number of supermarkets and wholesalers to discuss new opportunities to raise the profile of Chilean products and increase their penetration of the Russian market.
“Chile ships 107,000-108,000 tonnes of fruit directly to St Petersburg every year so the Russian market is one we cannot ignore,” said Asoex’s marketing manager Christian Carvajal. “Consumption is rising in line with increases in purchasing power. In the past ten years, consumption has risen by around 30 per cent, and as it’s a country that produces very little it has to import most of this.”
Carvajal added that as the supermarkets increased their market share they had become more interested in importing fruit directly, while the greater number of regional supermarkets was fuelling demand in second-tier cities, which created new opportunities for Chilean exporters.
Asked about the effects of the Russian ban on agricultural products from the EU, US and other nations, Carvajal noted that retailers are “doing all they can to ensure they are not left without fruit”.