Chile's bucket of cold water and the fruit and vegetable 'shot'

01/23/2012 08:46:00 AM
Tom Karst

The Chilean exchange rate is like a "cold bucket of water" to the country's fruit growers. Not a Gatorade bath after a big win on the gridiron, but a chilling drenching on a cold day.

In a story on the Fedefruta web site, Anthony Walker, president of the Fruit Growers Federation of Chile, said the strong value of the peso compared with the dollar has taken a toll on the industry. In the last quarter, industry revenues have dipped 7% because of the dollar's decline versus the peso.

In late 2008, Chilean growers received more than 660 pesos to the dollar. Now,  only about 500 pesos are returned per dollar. That puts more pressure on Chilean exporters to deliver stronger prices in important export markets like the U.S.

Check out this link for a month by month record of Chilean fresh produce shipments to the U.S. for the past five years.

You will see that blueberry exports at least have not suffered, even with the unfavorable exchange rate. USDA statistics show that Chilean fresh blueberry shipments have increased from 12,533 metric tons in 2006 to 43,847 metric tons in January through November 2011.

The USDA FAS issued this recent  report noting Chile's export success.

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Got that 2:30 feeling? A company called Protica Research has developed a product it claims will pump you full of fruits and vegetables instead of caffeine.

In a story headlined "Five Servings of Fruits and Vegetables in Single Shot," the company claims "Fruitasia" is the first "fruit and vegetable shot."  The company claims Fruitasia is three ounces of "all natural" ingredients that will give consumers three full servings of vegetables and two full servings of fruit.

Certainly convenient and quick, but I have to doubt the healh benefit equivalency to fresh produce.

Join the LinkedIn Fresh Produce Industry Discussion Group. Check out the stats from LinkedIn on the growth of the group. Facebook link here.

Bookmark the Fresh Talk home page.

Follow me on twitter @tckarst

E-mail me at tkarst@thepacker.com



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chuck    
Az  |  January, 23, 2012 at 04:54 PM

They could always get the USA to pay them in pesos that way they wouldn't lose anything. Better yet reduce the volume by 25% and everybody's happy.

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