Chilean fruit growers have recently celebrated the country's first shipment of four kinds of pears they hope will win over Chinese consumers.
"This is a very significant milestone for the Chilean fruit growing sector," Chilean Agriculture Minister Antonio Walker told reporters.
Harvested pears are transported in giant crates to plants like Frusan to be cleaned and refrigerated in separate batches depending on their destination market, plant operators said. Chile offers distributors crates of different sizes ranging from holding 2 kg of fruit, used exclusively for the Chinese market, to 18 kg. Pears bound for China are shipped by sea, and it takes some 30 days to arrive under normal conditions.
Chilean producers told Xinhua on the tour that they plan to carry out a study on the Chinese market to determine which pears are the most popular, and increase the supply accordingly.
According to Horacio Borquez, director of Chile's Agriculture and Cattle Ranching Service (SAG), Chile has very few diseases subject to quarantine restrictions: "What we do on a permanent basis is to continue to ensure that this (a disease) does not occur, and put ourselves at the service of countries and give them peace of mind and assurance. It's necessary to have very good risk analysis so we can ensure we don't have diseases that China doesn't have, and that these fruits are clean.”
Zhou Yi, political attache at the Chinese Embassy in Chile, has stated: "You can see Chilean pears are of very high quality. Chinese consumers are going to love them. Pear exportation is a symbol of (Chile's) fruit exports to China, and the Chilean pear is going to become a new national calling card for Chile in the Chinese market, along with cherries, cranberries and Chilean wine, all of which are very famous in China.”