Miguel Cea of AG-Fume Services (from left), Steve Hattendorf from the Chilean Fresh Fruit Association and Reza Marashi, County of Los Angeles Department of Agricultural Commissioner Inspector welcome the first vessel of Chilean summer fruit, Dec. 22. Photo courtesy Chilean Fresh Fruit Association
The first breakbulk vessel shipment of Chilean summer fruit arrived at the port of Los Angeles just before Christmas.
The ship unloaded 227,000 boxes of fresh cherries, peaches, nectarines, apricots and table grapes on Dec. 22, and it was met by Steve Hattendorf, merchandiser from the Chilean Fresh Fruit Association; Miguel Cea, president of AG-Fume Services Inc.; and Reza Marashi, County of Los Angeles Department of Agricultural Commissioner Inspector, according to an association news release.
The fruit was primarily headed to North American markets west of the Rockies, from Southern California to Vancouver, British Columbia, and reaching into West Texas.
Chilean fresh fruit import season usually runs from December to April. Last season, the port handled more than 82,000 metric tons of Chilean fresh fruit, which accounts for nearly one-fifth of all fruits and vegetables imported through Los Angeles.