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Chilean fruit exports to China decimated

Even though fruit is a significant snack globally, and even vegetables are popular in the Asia-Pacific region (57%), cheese is the most eaten snack in Europe (58%), bread/sandwiches in the Middle East (47%), ice cream in Latin America (63%) and potato/tortilla crisps in the US (63%).


Chile’s fruit exporters association (ASOEX) has estimated the losses to the country’s exports to China at close to US$100 million. This news was announced at the second meeting of the public-private table where the effects of the coronavirus on Chilean exports to China were analysed. The meeting included chaired the Minister of Foreign Relations, Rodrigo Yañez and the President of the Association of Fruit Exporters of Chile AG (ASOEX), Ronald Bown Fernández.

“After the end of the Chinese New Year celebrations, there were expectations of a revival in trade. However, on Monday, February 10, only 68 containers of cherries were sold. While in total, during the first 48 hours of operations in the wholesale markets in Shanghai, Guangzhou, Beijing and others, only 249 containers of the existing fruit stock in the chain were sold, estimated at 1,500 containers of cherries,” said the President of ASOEX. He added: “The first sales prices have been lower than expected, also in relation to the values ​​reached before the Chinese New Year. We believe that if the current trend were maintained, lower revenues could be projected for the cherry export sector of between US$70 and 80 million. But if we add other fruit species to this, we could reach losses of about US$100 million. However, this could vary depending on how the situation develops. So, we are constantly evaluating the market and conversing with our representatives in China.”

There is also concern about the fruit in transit to China, estimated at 1,600 containers, whose expected arrival dates are between now and March 15. These shipments contain about 59 containers of blueberries, 173 containers of cherries, 872 containers of plums, 387 containers of nectarines, 30 containers of avocados and 134 containers of table grapes. 

The Chilean fruit export industry has adapted its export promotion strategy in China, which includes facilitating the consumption of the basket of fruits exported by Chile, including cherries, blueberries, peas and table grapes, to highlight their nutritional benefits. The consumption of fruits will be promoted via online media and in retail chains and the sector will continue to donate fresh fruit to clinics and health centres. The first delivery will consist of 1,000 1.5 kg boxes of blueberries, donated to the lung hospital of Shanghai.

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Global Green Team exports peppers to China

After years of preparations, the first Dutch peppers will be exported to China mid July, said Paul Schriel, sales manager at Global Green Team, a Dutch fruit and vegetable trading company that operates worldwide.

After years of preparations, the first Dutch peppers will be exported to China mid July, said Paul Schriel, sales manager at Global Green Team, a Dutch fruit and vegetable trading company that operates worldwide. “We are accessing a market with a huge potential where we can distinguish ourselves by guaranteeing healthy and safe products,” Schriel said.

The exports are the end result of the lengthy process of the development of a protocol with both the Dutch and Chinese authorities and joint inspections. Many of the precautions revolve around preventing the presence of unwanted flies and strict compliance to the protocol.

“The current exports are meant to optimise routing, registration and inspections and after evaluation will lead to the possibility of China opening to pepper exports in 2017.

“That could open up the way for a follow-up with for instance tomatoes,”Schriel said. It leads him to conclude that the opening of new markets in the Far East is a healthy development.

Global Green Team local production in North America

Besides the Far and Middle East, Global Green Team has a focus on North America, where it sells the majority of its tomatoes and peppers grown in the Netherlands and locally.

Food miles are an issue that Global Green Team addresses by setting up local production.

“If you can show that your products are produced locally, you have an advantage,“ Schriel said.

The transfer of knowledge and quality assurance play a role in that process.

”The Dutch law has a very sharp focus on quality and that is a good indicator of the product that Global Green Team offers. We are strict on the quality we want to deliver and our quality team monitors that. Also we provide guidance to our growers,” he said.

Schriel sees growing demand for organic fresh produce, especially in the US and Canada. He said organic production is intensifying and production yields improving. This is the outcome of an increasingly better understanding of organic production and selection of varieties, he said.