Chilean avos seek greater gains

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Gill McShane

BY GILL McSHANE

Chilean avos seek greater gains

The country’s avocado industry has been urged to adopt new technologies and open up new markets

Chilean avos seek greater gains
Minister Marigem Hornkohl

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Chile’s Minister of Agriculture, Marigem Hornkohl, has underlined the need for new technologies and export destinations to guarantee the future of the country’s avocado sector, according to a Ministry statement.

During a recent visit to growing areas, Ms Hornkohl stressed the importance of incorporating technological innovation into the production of avocados across Chile, as well as the opening up of new markets.

“This is an industry which works hard to improve quality and ensure its fruit reaches new and greater numbers of consumers across the world,” said Ms Hornkohl.

She added that suppliers should take advantage of international trade fairs, such as Fruit Logistica in Germany, to expand business with regions such as Europe.

Chile has significantly expanded its production of avocados in the last 5-10 years, becoming the second-largest exporter of the fruit after Mexico.

Current annual production is in the region of 230,000 tonnes – a figure which the industry expects to continue growing in the medium-term given that 8,400ha of the total 39,300ha planted with the fruit has not yet entered commercial production.

In 2007, Chile recorded a 32 per cent increase in avocado exports to 146,400 tonnes to the US, Europe and Japan, among other destinations.

During a similar tour of Chile’s prune sector, Minister Hornkohl underlined the positive progress made by the industry and the potential to further increase exports of the dried fruit.

Chile exports prunes to 90 countries around the world and annual shipments reach 41,000 tonnes on average, worth some US$93m.

Between January and March 2008, exports of the dried fruit rose by 15 per cent in value terms and 4 per cent in volume.

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