A strike at a major Chilean port will likely delay the arrival of late-season grapes in the U.S. beyond the deadline for shipping fruit of a certain quality.
The workers’ strike at the Port of San Antonio means that some grapes destined for arrival in the U.S. will arrive after April 10, which means they will need to be of a higher quality, said John Pandol, special projects manager for Pandol Bros. Inc., Delano, Calif.
Grapes arriving after the deadline set by a U.S. marketing order must be U.S. grade No. 1 to be accepted.
“Arrival after the marketing order means the grapes will have to be inspected for U.S. 1,” Pandol said. “The same grapes will still come.”
Ronald Bown, president of the Santiago-based Chilean Fresh Fruit Exporters Association (ASOEX), did not return requests for comment.
According to press reports, dock workers in the two-week-old strike are striking over pay, working conditions and government plans to end early retirement pensions.
The Port of San Antonio is located in the Valparaiso region of Chile.