The logistics crisis and the new cherry campaign were high up the agenda at a recent fruit meeting in Chile’s O’Higgins region

More than 150 fruit producers met in San Fernando in the Chilean region of O’Higgins last week to discuss the outlook for the 2022/23 campaign in an event organised by Fedefruta, Prochile and the Colchagua-San Fernando Farmers’ Association

Fedefruta meeting

Outlining the likely impact of rising costs and the logistics crisis on the new season, Carolina Dosal, vice president of Fedefruta, commented: “In 2022, half of producers reported a 30-60 per cent deterioration in the condition in their fruit, while 60 per cent saw their labour costs go up by 20-30 per cent and 65 per cent reported an increase in internal transport costs of 20-40 per cent. All this against a background of rising costs for primary inputs such as agrochemicals and fertilisers”.

Dosal called for greater unity within the sector to help growers confront these global challenges.

In a presentation on the logistical situation facing producers, Francisco Labarca said it was positive news that port productivity continues to recover.

Labarca added that it was to everyone to find ways to move forward, be it by investing in port infrastructure projects, improving access to ports and highways, bringing port concessions under a single entity or having a port specialised in vessels transporting fruit in Chile’s central zone.

During a discussion on the forthcoming cherry export campaign, Claudio Vial, general manager of Exportadora Ranco, urged the trade to redouble its efforts to diversify its markets.

Regarding growth in non-China markets, Vial said this would take time and would depend on having good fruit, attractive prices and reasonable logistics.

Wrapping up the event, Darius Polloni, president of the Colchagua-San Fernando Farmers’ Association, commented: “For us in San Fernando, it is essential that Fedefruta gets closer to our producers in the area so that we listen to what their problems are and the situations that today challenge them the most, and see how we can help them and how we can collaborate together united as a single body”.