( Images courtesy the Chilean Fresh Fruit Association )

Chile’s citrus export season to the U.S. kicked off the week of April 2 with a shipment of nearly 48 tons of clementines from Valparaiso heading to the West Coast. 

The season started a week earlier than last year’s deal, and marketers expect volume to increase quickly as more orchards begin harvesting, according to a news release from the San Carlos, Calif.-based Chilean Fresh Fruit Association.

The Chilean Citrus Committee expects a strong season with increased clementine volume, according to the release.

“We’re expecting consistently high-quality fruit this year. We had very favorable temperatures this autumn, with warm days and cooler nights, and last year’s strong rainfall has also provided plenty of water for irrigation,” Juan Enrique Ortuzar, committee president, said in the release.

The committee is also launching its largest marketing campaign to date this season with in-store and online retail promos throughout the U.S. and Canada, according to the release. 

Other campaign components include tradeshows and foodservice education, according to the release, and the promotions will go through October.

“Retailers can rely on Chile for all their citrus needs, whether clementines, mandarins, lemons or navels,” Karen Brux, the association’s managing director for North America, said in the release.