Sustainability, logistics and new markets: major issues for the PMA in Chile

The Produce Marketing Association (PMA), a leading association that represents companies from all segments of the global fruit and vegetable chain, and which has a strong presence in Chile, has defined its 2019 agenda. The agenda focuses on sustainability, logistics, new markets and the analysis of the sustainability of the current markets, among other issues.

The Logistics issue stands out, as this is the first time that the PMA develops it in Chile. The issue will be developed through one of the PMA's seminars: "New challenges in logistics for Chilean fruit," which will be held on August 28. Andres Rodriguez, a representative of PMA in Chile, stated that the logistics issue was critical for Chile's fruit business. "A great example has been the 'cherry express' to China, which allowed shortening the travel time to this important market," he said.

The other three seminars of the year were also defined, starting with the seminar that addresses Sustainability, called "Present and future of sustainability in the Chilean fruit industry," to be held on April 3. The seminar will focus on the relevance of sustainability in the fruit industry and on the new trends and demands in important markets, such as the US and Europe, especially on the impact it has had on packaging. The other two seminars will address very relevant issues that the industry has requested. On June 26 there will be a seminar about the need for new markets, and on November 20 there will be a seminar to analyze the 2018/2019 season and projections.

At the beginning of the year, on January 16, the PMA held in Santiago the PMA Fresh Connections congress, which was attended by importers from the United States, Europe, China, Korea, Southeast Asia, India, and the Middle East. That same week, and for the first time in history, the PMA global directory was held outside of North America; Chile was chosen as the venue. This shows Chile's weight in the global fruit industry and the leading role with which the country assumes these new challenges.

Understanding new consumers
n various meetings we will address new consumers. "Population growth, higher incomes, urbanization, and consumer perceptions regarding quality and food safety are some of the factors that modify the global patterns of food consumption," said Andres Rodriguez, representative of PMA in Chile.

The composition of consumers' homes is changing throughout the world, he added. Health and well-being are gaining importance and access to digital technology is changing the consumers' experiences.

For example: according to a PMA study, generation Z (born between 1995 and 2010), accounts for a quarter of the population of the US and has a purchasing power of US $ 44 billion; by 2020 they are estimated will represent close to 40% of the US population. By then, their purchasing power will have grown exponentially as they become the largest consumer group in the world.

The weight of Chilean fruit
Chile is a fundamental player in the international fresh fruit market. In fact, it is the fourth largest exporter in the world and leading exporter in the southern hemisphere, as its production comes out in the counter-season of the main markets of the world, such as the United States, Europe, and Asia.

The United States continues to lead the list of importing countries with more than US $ 14 billion, but what is really impressive is the growth of new Asian markets, led by China and India, which in the last 10 years have increased their imports of fruit by more than 300% and 900% respectively (Source: World Fruit Map Rabobank 2018).

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