Korea’s Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency (APQA) has published the phytosanitary requirements for Chilean Hass avocado producers, effectively granting market access for the fruit.
There are a number of steps still be completed before the first shipment, however, including Chile compiling and submitting a list of growers interested in exporting avocados to Korea. This aside, a report published by Chilean fruit portal SimFruit suggested exports will be ready to begin by the end of October 2020.
National director of Chile’s Livestock and Agriculture Service (SAG), Horacio Bórquez, said the market access has been three years in the making.
“This opening is the result of work SAG has been carrying out since 2017, when negotiations with the APQA began, and which included the visit from a delegation of Korean experts to our country with the aim of learning about the fruit production and certification systems at the beginning of 2020, just before the travel restrictions due to Covid-19 began,” said Bórquez.
“We were well evaluated, thanks to the close work we maintain with our producers, and this is the result of this alliance where we all benefit,” he added.
Asoex president Ronald Bown said the development is a great step forward for Chile’s avocado industry.
“Diversifying the destination markets for Chilean fruit exports is key to continuing to grow and develop our industry, for which we very much welcome the opening of Korea for Chilean avocados and which joins the recent opening of Australia,” said Bown.
“This announcement also comes at a very opportune moment for the national avocado sector, since it coincides with the beginning of the harvest and export season of these fruits.
“There was a lot of interest in achieving the opening of the Korean market, since it is a market where there is consumption of avocados, therefore, we have positive expectations for exports,” he added.
Bown stressed the opening would not have been possible without the joint work between the public and private sectors in Chile, adding “We appreciate all the efforts made by the Ministry of Agriculture, the Agricultural and Livestock Service, the Embassy of Chile in Korea, as well as the Undersecretary of International Economic Relations, for the efforts made to improve and open new opportunities for Chilean fruits.”
The 2019/20 season culminated in Chile exporting a total of 118,981 tonnes of avocados to different markets around the world.
The main destination was Europe (72 per cent of total exports), followed by Latin America with 11.6 per cent of total shipments.
Asia ranks third with an 8.6 per cent share of total exports, and within Asia, Chile currently exports avocados to China, Hong Kong, Japan and India.