After a 12-day journey from Chile, the first West Coast break bulk vessel of the season, Ice River, arrived to the Port of Los Angeles on Thursday, January 9. The ship unloaded 4,500 pallets of fresh grapes, cherries, peaches, nectarines, plums and blueberries that will be hitting retail shelves this week.
The entire SSA Marine operations team, including Kevin Nielsen, Terminal Manager and Lacey Patalano, Office Administration, were excited to receive the Ice River vessel, and look forward to receiving weekly Chilean fresh fruit vessels now thru April. Steve Hattendorf, Western Region Merchandiser for the Chilean Fresh Fruit Association (CFFA), greeted the first West Coast vessel of the 2019-2020 Chilean winter fruit season and toured the 14 acre facility in San Pedro, California.
Cherries, blueberries, grapes and stone fruit (peaches, plums and nectarines) are now in-market, with merchandising support available to retailers through the U.S. and Canada. Says Karen Brux, Managing Director of the CFFA, “Demos, digital coupons, kids cooking classes, and social media contests are just some of the programs we’re currently running with retailers big and small. We’re also further supporting retail sales through our consumer campaign, which includes extensive social media promotions, as well as our new “Super Fruit Bowl” campaign that’s currently running with ESPN.”
The Chilean season is just starting to ramp up. Through January 6, Chile has exported 4,386 tons of cherries, 30,194 tons of blueberries, 17,067 tons of grapes, 5,114 tons of nectarines, 5,419 tons of peaches and 2,276 tons of plums to the United States.