The first Chilean cherries of this season already arrived in Shanghai and Guangzhou in October. The busy period of the Chilean cherry season is about to begin. December will see peak sales, just as in previous years. Another "red storm" is about to engulf the Chinese market. But why are Chilean cherries this popular with Chinese consumers? And how will the outbreak of Covid-19 affect the market this season?
The production volume steadily expands, and product quality remains strong
China is the largest importer of Chilean cherries. Trade relations between China and Chile are stable and growing stronger every year. Ronald Bown, chair of ASOEX: "Although the outbreak of Covid-19 has brought unprecedented challenges to international trade, we continued to export fresh fruit in the 2019-2020 season and kept our promises with international clients."
The weather conditions in Chile were very suitable for cherry growth this year. The overall production volume is expected to reach 300 thousand tons, which is an increase of 15% in comparison with last year. About 90% of the cherries are destined for the Chinese market. Every year a growing number of Chinese consumers enjoy Chilean cherries.
Health and safety are keywords this season
ASOEX and the Chilean Fruit Development Foundation (FDF) developed a series of regulated procedures to guarantee the highest level of product quality and food safety in the cherry export market during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. These measures cover the entire Chilean fruit industry from harvest through selection and packaging to transport. In addition, the Chilean fruit industry also published a third edition of the "Manual for prevention of the spread of SARS and CoV-2 in the orchard, packaging factory, or processing facility". The instructions in this manual are strictly implemented during every segment of the production process to guarantee safety in the fruit export industry.
Bown further explained, "Chinese consumers have high standards for product quality. That is why the people in our industry work hard to make the export of Chilean cherries safe and healthy. Members of the Chilean Cherry Association as well as exporters all invest in safety and hygiene procedures in the orchard and the packaging factories. These measures are implemented in every segment of the production and export process."
Chilean cherries are subject to a number of strict standards stipulated by the Chilean Ministries for Health, Labor, and Agriculture. All of these standards are implemented to guarantee the safe supply of top-quality, healthy Chilean cherries to clients across the globe.