Víctor Bezanilla, owner of Agrícola La Palma – exporter associated with Chileprunes -, is confident that the transport and logistics problems suffered by food products in 2021 and 2022 could be coming to an end.

In effect, he points out that “the logistics issue appears moderately resolved, there being no problems with prices or freight. Now last, the prices are not bad”.

One of the most complex aspects of last year was the high cost of the logistics chain due to multifactorial factors, -among others, due to a war between Russia and Ukraine that is still present-, which impacted the margins of the industry, to a lesser extent measure of prunes and, to a greater extent, of fresh plum, which is mainly destined for China, a country that is still experiencing the consequences of the pandemic intensely.

In recent years, Chile has been the main exporter of prunes in the world, so this type of logistical issue, considering our distance from many destinations, is undoubtedly precedent. In addition, it is “an industry with very small margins, low profitability, and flat global consumption in recent years, despite recent discoveries that highlight prunes as a superfood,” says the executive.

Another industry issue that plays a favor, he points out, is that since it is a non-perishable product, port crises and strikes do not affect it much differently from fresh fruit.

Agrícola la Palma is relatively new to the prunes business. Víctor Bezanilla (71 years old), who comes from the construction area, where he is still the main shareholder of a family business such as Besalco, acquired the fields in 2007, planting the first hectares the following year.

Today, he has 440 hectares of production located in the Colchagua Valley, VI Region, an area where 70% of the European plum present in Chile is grown. It is a single property, where, of the 440 hectares, 280 are for plums, and the rest is divided between Murcott mandarins, olives, corn and wheat.

Leave a Reply