The first cargo of cherries from Santa Cruz has entered Chinese territory, concluding a long journey that began more than a month ago.
The shipment of 15 tons of cherry, which were harvested on January 31, arrived on Saturday March 9 in Hong Kong, from where they were sent to the Chinese city of Guanghzou, to be sold to the public. Producers from Los Antiguos are excited about the acceptance of the Chinese market. The commercial manager of Cooperativa El Oasis, spoke about the complexity of this shipment's logistics.
The fruit was harvested on January 31 and packed the next day. On Sunday, February 3, the cargo with 15 tons of cherry started it's process to be sent to China.
First, it was moved in a truck to the fiscal deposit of the city of Neuquen de Centenario. There it was controlled by Customs and Senasa. After that, it was loaded onto a Chilean truck, which crossed the border and transported it to Puerto Coronel, in the province of Concepcion.
On Sunday, February 10, the cherries from Los Antiguas was loaded onto a ship that crossed the Pacific Ocean and took almost 4 weeks to reach the port of Hong Kong, last Saturday.
During the trip the fruit was constantly monitored through special sensors that detect any temperature difference. "The critical part is always when the cargo crosses the Ecuador, because we have to be very careful with the temperature," said Guerendain in FM Dimension. The fruit must be stored at 0 to 2° C throughout the trip.
Moreover, the bags that contain the fruit are special, as they release carbon dioxide and prevent oxygen from entering, which allows conserving the fruit for a longer time.
The process prior to transport and even the harvest are key to achieve a successful export operation. "When the fruits are still on the plant producers must feed them very well with calcium and potassium, so that their pulp is firm and their skin's quality can endure," stated the commercial manager of Cooperativa El Oasis.
Guerendiain also said that producers had to be very careful with the harvest so that the fruit wouldn't receive too many blows. He also highlighted that the fruit must be kept in cold conditions since it is packaged.
Once in Hong Kong, the fruit was taken to a truck bound for Guanghzou, a city of great export and import activity. The fruit will start being sold in the market of that metropolis on Tuesday, March 12.
"We are biting our nails until March 12," said the cooperative leader, since producers are always responsible for paying the costs of the transfer. If everything goes according to plan, the reward will be worth it. Each box of 5 kg is sold between 55 and 60 dollars.
The first export of cherry from Los Antiguos to China is close to completion, opening a potential market thanks to the signing of export protocols between both countries, signed in November last year.