USDA FAS: Apples and blueberries dominate Chile's organic growth - The Packer

USDA FAS: Apples and blueberries dominate Chile's organic growth

12/21/2010 11:21:51 AM
Tom Karst

Chile's growth as a producer of organic fruits and vegetables is examined in this USDA FAS report. Apples and blueberries dominate fresh fruit organic production and exports, USDA reports....

Report Highlights
: While there are no official market estimates, the AAOCH (Chilean Organic Agriculture Association – Agrupación de Agricultura Orgánica de Chile) estimates that the organic market in Chile moves approximately USD$35 million worth of products annually. This estimate includes about USD$2.4 million of local consumption, with the remainder representing exports. Imports of organic products, by comparison, are very small. The overall size of the organic sector (local consumption, production, and export) has been growing steadily accompanied by increased diversity in distribution channels, the Organic Agriculture Law that was passed in 2007, and the National Certification System of Organic Products. Though the market is relatively small, demand for organic products is growing 20% annually, despite the fact that organic products can be 25% more expensive than their conventional alternatives.

Chilean production of organic products is gaining momentum with apples, blueberries, onions, raspberries, blackberries, avocados, olives, rosehip and wine. Organic exports are dominated by processed products and fresh fruit. Exports of processed organic products reached 3,257 tons during 2008-2009, including apples, (dehydrated, pulp, dry and juice), frozen raspberries (primarily sent to North America), and 447,781 liters of organic wine (primarily shipped to Europe). Regarding organic fresh fruit, 2008-2009 exports amounted to 14,587 tons, 50% of which were apples, followed by blueberries (24.5%), kiwis (11.7%) and avocados (5.4%). The main destination was Europe (55%). According to the National Statistics Institute (INE), as of 2009 over 2,000 farmers declared to be working in or developing organic agriculture projects, and according to ProChile, the Government’s export promotion arm, there are over 100 companies exporting organic products from Chile to mainly the U.S., Canada, Europe, South Korea and Japan.



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