The Chilean Minister of Agriculture, Antonio Walker, announced that the South Korean health authority, the Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency (APQA), has approved the entry into that market of Chilean fresh Hass avocados. The phytosanitary requirements that Chilean producers must meet in order to be allowed to export have already been published.
The Minister stressed that “this is very good news for our avocado producers, since we are now at a very good time of the season. A couple of steps are still needed, like sending a list of those interested in exporting avocados to South Korea, in addition to waiting 30 days for the start of shipments, but we would already be in a position to start by late October. This has been the result of a joint effort between the public and private sectors, and the commitment of producers and exporters is essential to comply with the sanitary measures that the markets demand from us.”
For his part, the National Director of SAG, Horacio Bórquez, said that “this opening is the result of the work carried out by the Agricultural and Livestock Service since 2017, when negotiations with the APQA started, and which included the visit of a delegation of Korean experts to our country with the aim of becoming familiar with the fruit production and certification systems. This happened in early 2020, just before the imposition of travel restrictions as a result of Covid-19. We were positively assessed thanks to our close work with the producers; an alliance from which we all benefit.”
It is worth noting that South Korea is a country with more than 50 million inhabitants; therefore, this announcement entails an important business opportunity for the sector.
The president of ASOEX, Ronald Bown, said that “diversifying the destination markets for Chilean fruit exports is the key to continue growing and developing our industry, so we very much welcome the opening of the South Korean market to Chilean avocados, which is happening after the recent opening of the Australian one. This announcement also comes at a very good time for the national avocado sector, since it coincides with the beginning of the harvest and export season. There was a lot of interest in opening the South Korean market, since it is a market that consumes avocados, so we have good prospects for our exports,” he said.
Bown stressed that this opening wouldn’t have been possible without the joint work between the public and private sectors. “We appreciate all the efforts made by the Ministry of Agriculture, the Agricultural and Livestock Service, the Embassy of Chile in South Korea and the Undersecretary of International Economic Relations for the efforts made to improve and create new opportunities for Chilean fruits."
During the 2019-2020 fruit season, Chile exported 118,981 tons of avocados to various markets around the world. The main destination was Europe (72% of total exports), followed by Latin America, with 11.6% of all shipments.
Asia is in third place, with an 8.6% share of all exports. Within Asia, Chile currently exports avocados to China, Hong Kong, Japan and India.