India represents a market of 1.324 billion people and economic growth is expected to reach 7.2% this year.
Given its growth, this market is gaining special importance for the Chilean export fruit industry.
In this context, and in order to strengthen ties with importers, distributors, wholesale markets and retail chains, the Blueberry Committee of Chile, an entity that operates under the umbrella of the Association of Fruit Exporters of Chile AG (ASOEX), had its his first mission to New Delhi and Mumbai in India.
The national delegation was composed of the Executive Director of the Blueberries Committee, Andrés Armstrong; ASOEX Marketing Director for Asia and Europe, Charif Christian Carvajal; the ProChile Commercial Attaché in India, Carolina Vasquez, and representatives of Blueberry Committee exporting companies: Hortifruit, Prize, Farmer’s Friend, Nice Blue, Zurgroup and David Del Curto.
The actions started in New Delhi, where one of the main activities was the seminar for importers, distributors and retailers in India, which had massive assistance and allowed national representatives to present the characteristics of the Chilean blueberry industry, as well as holding important business meetings.
The exhibitions were led by Andrés Armstrong, Commercial Director of the Blueberries Committee, who highlighted the opening of India’s blueberry market in Chile; in addition to Carolina Vasquez, Chile’s Trade Aggregate in India, who highlighted the importance of India as a growing market for Chilean exports; and Charif Christian Carvajal, who relayed the potential of India, but at the same time the logistical challenge that still exists for a better shipment of the Chilean fruit.
“Chile is the main exporter of blueberries in the world, and this reflects the commitment and work of our industry to produce blueberries of quality and safety to the different international markets, seeking to meet the requirements of the consumer. Since this year our blueberries can enter India, and we are here to strengthen knowledgeable relationships and visualize opportunities for our exports, “Armstrong explained.
According to Carolina Vásquez, Chile’s business attaché in New Delhi, she said: “Of India’s total food basket, 33% is represented by protein foods, 19% by cereals and 13% by fruits and vegetables. At the same time, it is important to highlight the fact that consumers in both rural and urban India maintain their preference for fresh produce; therefore, growth potential is seen for the medium term, as types of fruits such as blueberries are rather new in the market, where the consumer has slowly begun to know part of their properties and benefits. “
“The agreement reached with India for the export of blueberries under inspection and avocados under the Systems Approach, is a major step for our fruit exports, since shipments were previously excluded due to Methyl Bromide, which was detrimental to the fruit’s condition and quality. India is advancing more and more in technical works concerning the establishment of entry requirements, but still presents challenges that must be addressed, as is the case of its high tariffs, as well as opening up its economy in greater measure”, said Chile’s agricultural aggregate in India, Jaime González.
Charif Christian Carvajal, ASOEX Marketing Director for Asia and Europe, said: “In this first prospecting mission to India, the national delegation visited the wholesale fruit market in New Delhi and the main Indian retail stores. All this with the aim of knowing, in situ, the opportunities for Chilean blueberries in this market, especially thinking that it is a market that privileges to consume healthy products.
Finally, it should be noted that the delegation ends today, Monday, September 4, the actions with a Seminar for importers, distributors and retail of Mumbai, as well as visits to the wholesale and retail market of that city, then travel to Hong Kong to participate in Asia Fruit Logística 2017.