Chile has welcomed a decision by the Indonesian government to ease restrictions on imports of a number of Chilean fruits.
By recognising Chile’s food safety system, Indonesia will now allow shipments of grapes, apples, pears, blueberries, cherries and kiwifruit to enter the country through the port of Tanjung Priok in Jakarta, putting the fruit within much closer reach of the main population centres.
Since 2011, Chilean imports have had to pass through the ports of Surabaya and Belawan, which were more than 1,000km away from the main market and significantly increased shipping and storage costs.
The new rules came into force on 6 November and will remain active for three years, with an option of renewal six months before they are due to expire.
Chile’s Agriculture Minister, Antonio Walker, welcomed the news, noting that it would significantly improve the competitiveness of Chilean fruit by cutting transportation costs and allowing fresher fruit to reach the consumer.
“This is great news for our exporters, because Indonesia has the fourth largest population in the world, with more than 260m inhabitants, and together with its growing economic development, has become an interesting market for our exports of fresh fruit,” Walker said.
Ronald Bown, president of the Chilean Fresh Fruit Exporter Association (Asoex), said the development, which has taken more than eight years to achieve, was very positive for the sector.
During the 2017/18 season, Chile exported 7,339 tonnes of fresh fruits to Indonesia, with table grapes accounting for 94.4 per cent of the total and kiwifruit for 5.1 per cent.