Chile is the top exporter of prunes and it is sought to reinforce its presence in the European market through a prominent presence in the Global Food Marketplace (SIAL) 2014 in Paris, the leading fair worldwide in the food industry, which has now been in existence for half a century. “Chile is today prepared to provide worldwide importers with a higher added value to its production, with prunes in different formats and packaging in accordance with customer needs, in bulk as well as in retail packs”, indicated Andrés Rodríguez, Vice-President of Chile Prunes. “Europe is a strategic commercial partner for our country, and due to this we wished to be present at this fair, along with several companies in this line of business. The European market demands the best quality and that is what characterizes Chile,” he added.
Today, the European market is considered to be “mature” for Chilean prunes and presents a challenge for strengthening and positioning high-quality brands. Chile has stable production volumes that allow ensuring a regular supply to its customers. “This has led to Chile becoming the largest exporter of prunes worldwide”, states the officer. One of the comparative advantages has been the free trade agreements that Chile has with the European Union, which has allowed the high-quality product to enter at a price that is accessible by consumers. The primary prune markets have been Russia, with 8,940 tons, Poland with 4,509 tons and Germany with 4,430 tons.
Prior to the fair, Chile Prunes met in Paris with the executive committee of the IPA (International Prune Association). Andrés Rodríguez, who is also the Vice-President of the IPA, attended as part of the Chilean delegation, as well as Héctor Claro and Pedro Pablo Díaz, where each of the participating countries (USA, France, Australia, South Africa, Italy, Serbia and Chile) presented the current situation of their industries regarding volumes and latest advances in harvesting, studies on the health benefits of prunes and consumer trends. One of the biggest novelties of this meeting was the incorporation of Serbia into the IPA, which became a member of the group for the first time.