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Argentina: Second shipment of cherries from Neuquen and Rio Negro arrives in Miami

Yesterday, the second shipment of cherries exported directly from the Juan Domingo Peron airport to Miami arrived in the US city. 47 tons of fruit, belonging to producers from Neuquen and Rio Negro have already reached their destination.

The companies that exported the fruit were: Cerezas Argentinas, Cecco y Miele, from Rio Negro, and Frutos del Chañar, and Vista Alegre SRL, from Neuquen. 

The owner of Vista Alegre SRL, Carlos Enriquez, said that "being able to place our products in the Northern Hemisphere in less than 24 hours is fantastic because the quality remains intact."

The businessman said that they saved time and increased their profitability by exporting from Neuquen. He also said the region's cherry was renowned for its quality throughout the world.

Facundo Lopez Raggi, the manager of the SME-Adeneu Center, said that the agency had helped to organize the infrastructure necessary for the flight; helping prepare the hangars for cargo so that they met the requirements of Senasa and international standards, because Miami had specific health requirements.

Currently there are 700 hectares of cherry production in the Upper Valley of Rio Negro and Neuquén, which export 3,800 tons of cherry. Most of the cherry exported is shipped by air from Ezeiza and some 700 tons are shipped by sea. The goal of these new shipments from the Juan Domingo Peron airport is to consolidate it as hub for direct exports that can accompany the cherry's productive potential in the region.

"Production will reach 5,000 tons in two years, so it is necessary to develop this airport, as Ezeiza will be increasingly saturated," said Lopez Raggi.

Local producers have been investing in varieties, technologies for their fields, and planting systems that would allow Argentina to produce fruit that can be shipped by air before Chile (their main competitor).

This fruit, called cherry scoop, could be sent to the markets of China and Hong Kong, which is why logistics have become a competitiveness issue for the sector.

Lopez Raggi said it was vital for them "to work in logistics and health aspects, mainly because of China, which is paying the best prices."
According to estimates made by Argentina's Chamber of Integrated Cherry Producers (Capci), regional production companies export nearly 80% of their production.

Now that Neuquen's International Airport can operate cargo, Chilean producers could also start exporting their cherries through it, according to a statement by national forwarders who currently operate from Ezeiza and are looking for other logistics and business alternatives, the Capci stated.

This is a very important issue that the province aims to promote. They've been working with other private operators to bring other businesses on board.

One of these businesses, for example, is the Chilean salmon produce, which is currently taken to Buenos Aires to be exported. Another is the supply and equipment market for oil and gas activities.

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