The Chilean Blueberry Committee is organising its first trade mission dedicated to blueberries, visiting India and Dubai ahead of its participation at Asia Fruit Logistica 2017.

Between 30 August and 4 September, members of The Chilean Blueberry Committee – part of the Chilean Fruit Exporters Association (Asoex), supported by ProChile – will travel to New Delhi, Mumbai and Dubai for meetings with potential buyers and logistics service providers to promote Chilean fresh blueberry exports backed by a new marketing programme.

Although household penetration for fresh blueberries remains low in both India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Chile has recently signed a commercial agreement with India aimed at helping facilitate greater blueberry and avocado exports to the country.

Charif Christian Carvajal, Asoex marketing director for Europe and Asia, together with the Andrés Armstrong, the Chilean Blueberry Committee’s executive director, will lead the delegation, which includes a group of six grower-exporters.

“The principal objective is to generate new contacts with importers, distributors and retail chains, and to spread the word about the new export agreement between Chile and India,” said Armstrong. “This type of trade mission is precisely one of the reasons why the Chilean Blueberry Committee exists.

“The Committee works to open up new markets, diversify channels and drive export opportunities,” he added. “During the trip we will raise awareness of Chilean blueberries, their characteristics and availability.”

The delegation will host B2B meetings with importers, distributors and retailers, in addition to visiting the major wholesale markets, retail chains, port facilities and logistical platforms in both India and Dubai.

Special trade seminars will also take place in India with the support of ProChile’s local office to highlight to buyers the opportunities, challenges and benefits of buying fruits from Chile.

The trade mission will focus on communicating three key messages, said Carvajal. “Firstly, Chile’s supply season from October to March, which complements India and Dubai’s existing blueberry import programmes from mainly the US and Canada,” he explained. “Secondly, Chile’s experience of complying with market regulations and customer requests in its role as the world’s leading exporter of fresh blueberries. And thirdly, Chile’s commitment to growing the market in both India and Dubai where we appreciate blueberries are not a traditional product and will require active promotional campaigns in retail outlets and foodservice channels to help importers and distributors better sell the fruit.”

The delegation will also draw attention to the new blueberry varieties being produced by Chilean growers that can travel further and produce firmer, slightly larger fruit that delivers a sweeter eating experience.


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