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Astrid Antillon about the citrus and apple situation in Latin America

“We aim to be a bridge between Latin America and the rest of the world”

The Chilean campaign for citrus and apples is going extraordinarily well. Volumes are exceeding expectations, meaning the region is ready to supply the world. Considering the lower availability in Europe, one importer feels there are big opportunities ahead.

Chile is having a good citrus campaign, with just Argentina as a big competitor, says Astrid Antillon, co-director of Tropical Republik. “The prices of Argentinian citrus is higher since their production has been affected by mites. Chilean phytosanitary controls and the Andean natural border have kept this plague from affecting Chilean production with the varieties Fino and Eureka, which are great options for high juice content, thin skin, nice healthy peel and color and great endurance to transit times. The Chilean varieties are to pick up the European demand when the domestic lemons are over in the summer with the last Spanish Vernas, which isn’t a favorite of consumers, due to thick skin and less juice content.”

At the start of the Chilean citrus season there were some concerns, as domestic prices were very high and many producers harvested the lemons without the maturity it required: “This lead people to think that there would be less quantity available for export, but as production progressed, it not only hasn’t been reduced, but figures of production are approximately 10% higher than last year. At this moment prices remain stable, with a trend to go down. We see with great optimism that our lemons arrive in excellent condition to all of the top destinations Chilean produce has for its fruit, like Japan, Korea, USA and Asia in general, which speaks for the good quality of the produce from Chile.” Antillon explains.

“Compared to the past, Chile have professionalized a lot in the harvest and postharvest processes as well as phytosanitary standards, which allow them to reach further destinations and more demanding markets in terms of quality,” says Antillon. “This has also resulted in a great season for the Chilean apple, specifically in the Chinese market. This market has exceeded our expectations in terms of volume. The Chilean Royal Gala has been a smash hit in the Chinese region thanks to its resistance, sweetness and great coloration. The fact there are very few amounts of Royal Galas available in Europe certainly helps. The Chilean variety gives any European importers a solid alternative if they are looking for a good quality-price relation and want to cover the demands when their stocks are depleted.”

According to Antillon, the Chilean Kiwis are also having an excellent campaign, with very good demand from the Chinese market as well as in other emerging markets. “These new emerging markets are slowly replacing the European demand, which is becoming less interesting due to the low price level. But these fruits aren’t all we have available at Tropical Republik; we also import and export pineapples, bananas, grapes, cherries, different kinds of top fruit, avocados, mangoes and many other products!”

Although Antillon currently operates from the Netherlands, her roots are actually in Latin America. “I’m Costa Rican myself and have been around the trade of fresh produce all my life. This experience means I’m not just familiar with the fruits and vegetables from my country, but from other Spanish-speaking countries as well. My goal is to connect retailers and suppliers with great quality produce. Through strategic partnerships and growers alliances, Tropical Republik brings a wide offer of fresh produce from Latin America and Spain into Europe and other destinations. The origins are Peru, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, the Caribbean, Spain and Chile. We’re always available to introduce new clients to our network of growers, since we are located in the Netherlands we aim to be a bridge between Latin America and the world.” Antillon concludes.

For more information:
Astrid Antillon
Tropical Republik
Tel: + 31 (0) 6 400 62 180
Email: a.antillon@tropicalrepublik.com 
www.tropicalrepublik.com

Henk Van Hameren
Tel: +31 6 55 18 76 86
Email: H.vanhameren@tropicalrepublik.com 


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