Chile 2017 Special Supplement Established since 1985
Offering a Vibrant Selection of Ingredients
THE SECRETS OF A WELL-EARNED REPUTATION p10
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GUARANTEED FOOD SAFETY p08
THEY DONâ€™T STAY FROZEN p14
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14 They Don’t Stay Frozen
APFrut, a primary global producer of cherries and other frozen fruits, is exploring new sales channels such as retail, and has a close eye on opportunities that are opening up for them in the Asian market. The huge challenge for them is to diversify while consistently maintaining high-quality standards.
BAYAS DEL SUR
16 The Heart Of Earth
Made-To-Order Products CHILEALIMENTOS
04 Work With Chilean Producers For Lasting Benefits
Alberto Montanari, president of Chilealimentos, gives insight to the global fruit and vegetable industry and what opportunities Asian businesses can capitalise on by working with Chilean producers.
10 The Secrets Of A Well-Earned Reputation
06 Providing Ample Support
With ProChile and its support, expanding one’s business beyond Chile is an all-easier venture, informs Alejandro Buvinic, director of Prochile.
08 Guaranteed Food Safety
The government agency Achipia is responsible for the good reputation in good quality that Chile enjoys. It establishes ambitious short-term goals to keep local growers among the favourite suppliers of Asian customers.
Asia is a well-known destination for frozen fruit and vegetable company Alifrut that has been exporting products to the region for over 27 years. Up until now, Japan and South Korea have been their primary customers, but the aim is to deepen ties with these two allies and target new markets in Asia where great potential has been detected.
For almost 30 years, Bayas del Sur has been obtaining fruit from the deep Patagonia and taking them to the tables of the world. The wealth found in such wild and organic produce is difficult to find anywhere else. It is a real treat to the palate and the health of consumers.
18 Made-To-Order Products
The largest global producer of Mediterranean fruit pulp, Agrozzi, is exploring new niches in the Asian market with products tailored to the palate of demanding consumers that are open to tasting new flavours.
20 Pushing For Change From The Top
Governmental agency CORFO is promoting a program that aims to double exports from Chilean food producers in 2025. An ambitious plan, it has found supporters in universities and among entrepreneurs and investors who see this state incentive as favourable for improving technology and innovation indexes in the industry.
12 Painting A World In Red
Jugos Chile is a leading grape juice company that is ready to take world markets by assault with a new product: Frutos Rojos—a delicious combination of grape, berries and wild fruit. It is a combination rich in nutrients and antioxidants. This is just a first step towards a larger diversification.
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CHILE 2017 SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT
Eyes On Chilean Producers
Chile 2017 Special Supplement
In a world where everyone is striving to become ‘healthier’ in all ways— from consumers demanding healthier dietary options or choosing naturally healthier products, to manufacturers committing to become environmentally-friendly and lowering their energy, water and carbon footprints, Chile is slowly being put on the radar as a country that offers all these. Situated in the Southern hemisphere, the South American country offers much more than it is currently credited for. With natural barriers and a Mediterranean climate that cultivates naturally safe and enhanced fruit and vegetables, retailers and consumers alike should look more toward Chile for quality produce. Having been to Chile before, I can vouch for the country’s clean climate, absolutely delicious fruit and vegetables, and the heartwarming culture of Chileans. If you are looking for options to improve your business, or to maintain your fruit- and vegetable-related offerings
Head Office & Mailing Address
Eastern Trade Media Pte Ltd 12 Hoy Fatt Road, #03-01 Bryton House, Singapore 159506 Tel : +65 6379 2888 Fax : +65 6379 2886 Email : email@example.com Web : apfoodonline.com
all year round, this supplement is just for you. This Chile Supplement provides information on Chile as a country, its various fruit and vegetables, and highlights the opportunities for Asian businesses to capitalise on when working with Chilean producers. It also answers general queries one might have on what Chile can offer, and features selected fruit and vegetable producers who would be more than happy to speak directly with interested parties regarding their produce and unique offerings. To learn more about the country and its fruit and vegetable offerings, flip the page! I wish you the best in your business endeavours. Cheers!
Michelle Cheong firstname.lastname@example.org EDITORIAL ASSISTANT
Audrey Ang email@example.com
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Chang Pei Yu firstname.lastname@example.org
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8/11/17 3:22 pm
CHILE 2017 SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT
WORK WITH CHILEAN PRODUCERS FOR LASTING BENEFITS
ALBERTO MONTANARI, PRESIDENT OF CHILEALIMENTOS, GIVES INSIGHT TO THE GLOBAL FRUIT AND VEGETABLE INDUSTRY AND WHAT OPPORTUNITIES ASIAN BUSINESSES CAN CAPITALISE ON BY WORKING WITH CHILEAN PRODUCERS. WHAT IS CHILEALIMENTOS?
Founded in 1943, Chilealimentos is a business association that allows companies to work collaboratively, and is known for being non-profit and its voluntary membership. Chilealimentos brings together food-processing companies, as well as services related to their manufacturing and sales, technology, and provision of supplies for the industry. The association also lends support to its member companies in the following areas of action: • Building relationships with government authorities • Sustainability • Human capital • Building relationships with international institutions • The drafting of standards for optimal performance in the industry • Creating projects to stimulate business and production • Gathering and disseminating information on processed food • Generating business information for the member companies
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WHAT ARE THE CURRENT TRENDS THAT YOU SEE WITH REGARD TO FRUITS AND VEGETABLES?
The most visible trend in the global market is the sustained growth in the diversification of products to cater to the different consumer segments. For example, these can be food products that contribute to people’s health with ingredients (like antioxidants, fibre, specific nutrients, e.g. calcium, iron, magnesium, etc.) or that have reduced amounts of certain components, such as calories or sugar. All of these components can be found in the fruit and vegetables that we produce. Another example is food products that satisfy the convenience segment both at the retail and industry levels. Every day, consumers dedicate less and less time to preparing food, which leads to the increasing demand for pre-packaged products ready for consumption, as well as whole meal replacements from convenience stores, among which fruit and nut snacks, for example, are massively distributed.
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CHILE 2017 SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT
In terms of food products for the industry, preparations for restaurant and hotel chains are constantly on the rise, which require ingredients, pre-prepared food products and chiefly, food products in institutional packaging that allows for an adequate handling of food products for their final preparation. These include fruit flours (e.g. apple, almond), juice concentrate (e.g. grape, berries), fruit and vegetable pulps (e.g. peach, pear, tomato paste, and ketchup), preserves in institutional packaging, etc. Another important segment is food products for different age groups: infants, teenagers, adults, and senior citizens. These groups each have different nutritional requirements, which is why the industry must be able to offer a complete variety of products in their selection or offer products for specific groups. Globally, fruit pulps and mixtures of these are products that have been widely distributed in all of the age groups, with specific formulas tailored to each group.
WHAT TRENDS DO YOU EXPECT TO SEE IN THE FRUIT AND VEGETABLE INDUSTRY IN THE NEXT FIVE TO TEN YEARS?
One trend that is becoming stronger by the day is the relationship between food products and health: it has been found that there is a direct relationship between health and what people consume. An excess or shortage of certain nutrients has proven to negatively influence health. On the other hand, the positive effects of certain components on human health have also been demonstrated. Antioxidants, appropriate levels of fibre, minerals and vitamins are primary components in all diets that tend to improve health. All these are found particularly in fruits and vegetables, which is why consumption of these should see a steady rise over the next 10 years. Given this trend towards healthy food products, fruit and vegetables that are typical of a Mediterranean diet will be increasingly consumed in different parts of the globe.
CHILEAN PRODUCERS ENSURE AN INTERRUPTED YEAR’S SUPPLY OF FRUITS AND VEGETABLES. Chile is an excellent producer of all fruits and vegetables, and due to our geographical location, we are one of the few countries that can offer these products during the Northern Hemisphere’s winter—global markets can continue to be supplied with fruits and vegetables throughout the year, even from November to June. Therefore, we foresee a thriving activity in the global market for which we produce. The convenience segment is another driver that will continue to expand quickly. There are fewer people with time to prepare food; therefore the demand for ready-made food products will define the future.
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Pleasure and indulgence are also aspects that will influence the demand for food products. Overlooking the lack of nutrition, some people undoubtedly focus on the aspects of flavour and the indulgence caused by food products. In this regard, Chile has an advantage because the fruits and vegetables it produces are clearly identified by consumers from different countries as superior in terms of sensory quality. Our climate and geography are unique in the world, and this endows our fruits and vegetables with remarkable flavours.
ARE YOUR MEMBERS ALREADY ACTIVE IN THE ASIAN MARKET? WHAT ARE SOME SPECIAL PRODUCTS THEY HAVE THAT COULD BE OF INTEREST TO ASIAN BUYERS?
Almost 100 percent of our members have active business relationships with Asian countries currently. Chilealimentos’ members produce and export processed fruits and vegetables for the industries pertaining to dried food products, nuts, frozen products, juices, canned, and pulps. • Dried food: peppers, herbal infusions, raisins, plums, & apples. • Nuts: almonds, walnuts, & European hazelnuts. • Frozen products: strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, kiwis, apples, & grapes. • Juices: concentrates of grape, apple, plum, berries, pepper, & even extracts from native Chilean plants and fruit essence. • Canned: peaches, pears, cherries, strawberries, & infused products (primarily berries). • Pulps: apple, peach, pear, berries, & tomato paste.
WHAT ARE SOME BENEFITS CHILEAN PRODUCERS OFFER ASIAN BUSINESSES?
Chile is a supplier of high-quality products, which is what consumers especially in recent times prefer. Chilean producers also operate in an industry that complements production in the Northern Hemisphere, where most of the world’s population is located. Working with Chilean producers can therefore ensure an uninterrupted year’s supply of fruits and vegetables for every business globally. Because the primary companies of services associated with food exportation operate in Chile, clients can always find the presence of companies in Chile that support them regularly in the business relationships they build throughout the world. This would allow business partners to stay connected. Lastly, because Chileans tend to look at the long-term rather than the short, partners can expect to gain long-term business partners when working with Chilean producers. In terms of food products, Chile is one of the countries that has seen the largest increase in its exports in recent years and currently records exports of over US$16 billion. We satisfy the needs of consumers in over 190 countries around the world with our exports—which is proof of the great presence of Chilean products at the international level, and of the success entailed in doing business with Chile in the food product market.
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CHILE 2017 SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT
WHO IS PROCHILE?
PROVIDING AMPLE SUPPORT
WITH PROCHILE AND ITS SUPPORT, EXPANDING ONE’S BUSINESS BEYOND CHILE IS AN ALL-EASIER VENTURE, INFORMS ALEJANDRO BUVINIC, DIRECTOR OF PROCHILE.
ProChile is Chile’s Export Promotion Bureau, and its main purpose is to promote the country’s range of exportable goods and services and provide the private sector with the knowledge and information it needs to facilitate its process of internationalisation. It has a network of 54 offices around the world that manage demand and 15 offices throughout Chile. The bureau offers several tools and services designed to contribute to adding value and diversifying Chile’s range of exportable products and services, thereby generating more and better business opportunities for our country around the world.
WHAT IS PROCHILE ALREADY DOING FOR CHILEAN FRUIT AND VEGETABLE COMPANIES, AND WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE PLANS?
We have a series of support tools to help fruit and vegetable companies to export, diversify markets, and position Chile in the world. For example, we invite business professionals to attend and showcase their products at Chile’s stand in different international trade fairs, and we have industryspecific brands to help different industries strengthen their international position. “The Bounty of Our Land Delivered to Your Table” is ProChile’s new tool for promoting food and drink products. It includes technical visits to export markets and business meetings, a cooking show for the media and importers, and the participation of food industry brands. This activity is comprehensive because it includes training and loyalty building among importers, as well as promotion in the media. There are also training programmes to strengthen the skills and management abilities required to conquer international markets. Our exporter capacity building programme provides training to businesses so they can start exporting to or diversify the markets in which they work. Regarding the fruit and vegetable industry, we are working on the new needs in this area and seeing what opportunities exist, especially in the service area.
HOW DO THE ASIAN MARKET AND OTHER MARKETS DIFFER? WHAT ARE CONSUMERS LOOKING FOR?
The circumstances vary in the different markets to which we ship food products. Asia has become a driver of the global economy and is our foremost export market because three of our main trade partners in the world are China, Japan and South Korea. This continent is a mixture of developed and emerging markets with a great deal of potential. Thanks to the Free Trade Agreements Chile has with countries around the world, especially Asian nations, Chilean exporters can position themselves with competitive advantages, specifically regarding our most important exportable goods: food and drink products.
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CHILE 2017 SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT
TODAY, CONSUMERS ARE MORE AWARE AND BETTER INFORMED DUE TO THE MANY INFORMATION TOOLS AVAILABLE, WHICH MAKE THEM MORE DEMANDING WITH REGARD TO CERTIFICATIONS, ATTRIBUTES, PLACE OF ORIGIN AND PRODUCT BENEFITS. With regard to Asia’s trends, we are seeing a clear predisposition to improving living standards, particularly with healthier products. There are countries with an ageing population that demand more products associated with the need to maintain a healthy lifestyle, such as functional and organic products. Europe is similar, as trends also point to healthy and organic products. The region is very concerned about the innocuity and traceability of the food products they consume. Buyers believe that adequate nutrition and chemical-free foods are fundamental in their lives, and thus avoid prepared foods and prefer organic ones. With North America—mainly the US—the trends are similar too. Recent years have seen a change in lifestyle and eating habits of consumers. People have become very active and are replacing the traditional three meals with several smaller meals, with a notable increase in the frequency of consumption of healthy snacks. Greater awareness of sugar and fat, and concerns about obesity and heart disease has also led US consumers to rethink their diet. Producers have responded to this trend by introducing healthy solutions in individual and family-sized portions. Today, consumers are more aware and better informed due to the many information tools available, which make them more demanding with regard to certifications, attributes, place of origin and product benefits.
HOW CAN CHILEAN COMPANIES MEET THIS DEMAND?
The private sector is one of the driving forces defining the work to be done, because its members know the most about their needs. They choose the sectors to focus on and the markets they want to access, and they let us know through the various tools that ProChile has made available. We also have our network of trade attachés and our research department. They analyse new trends and demands abroad and share that information with our industry specialists, who in turn discuss it with private entities. Furthermore, ProChile identifies new needs in all sectors and determines which ones offer opportunities for Chilean goods and services.
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Our country is also working hard to attract foreign investment for the agro-industry. This is a priority for InvestChile, the organisation responsible for that area, which has opened offices in Japan and will open another one soon in China.
WHAT ARE SOME TIPS THAT YOU CAN GIVE CHILEAN COMPANIES WHO WANT TO EXPORT TO OR EXPAND THEIR BUSINESSES IN ASIA? Establish personal relationships with potential importers: Be prepared and willing to frequently travel to Asian markets to maintain a lasting relationship with business owners there. It is very important to adjust to the culture and not impose our ways. Thinking of the local culture is important for negotiating and adapting the product to the local market. Listening to the importer is crucial in this regard.
Establish long-term relationships with trade partners: It is important to prepare well for every action that one wishes to take, for example, having support material and business cards in the language of that market, particularly in the case of China.
Be seen through Asia’s wide range of trade fairs and events: These can serve as an entry point for Chilean exporters, particularly to position themselves in that market. Each year our calendar includes various options of fairs in Asia in which our exporters can participate.
Make use of ProChile support: Our network of 12 offices in the Asian region constantly monitors trends and establishes relationships with importers. There is also an office in each region of Chile to receive companies who want to export or diversify their export markets.
HOW CAN PROCHILE HELP TO CONNECT ASIAN BUYERS WITH CHILEAN COMPANIES?
ProChile regularly invites Asian import companies to Chile and generate direct contact with our exporters. For example, in May 2017 we organised Enexpro, an exporters’ meeting, in three regions of Chile. Regarding annual activities, ProChile has a calendar that includes the most important trade fairs in Asia where companies can establish direct contact with importers. In addition, our organisation puts together trade missions and events, such as Chile Week China. One of today’s trends is e-commerce, so companies that wish to export their products to Asia should be able to do so through that channel. ProChile is aware of this and has signed cooperation agreements with platforms such as AliExpress and JD.com so that Chilean companies can use them to access Asian markets.
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CHILE 2017 SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT
GUARANTEED FOOD SAFETY THE GOVERNMENT AGENCY ACHIPIA IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE GOOD REPUTATION IN GOOD QUALITY THAT CHILE ENJOYS. IT ESTABLISHES AMBITIOUS SHORTTERM GOALS TO KEEP LOCAL GROWERS AMONG THE FAVOURITE SUPPLIERS OF ASIAN CUSTOMERS.
CHILEAN fruit and vegetable growers have enjoyed long success as raw material exporters, supplying the world for almost half a century with their delicious produce. This is a strategic sector for the national economy, falling behind only the mining sector in terms of resource generation. To maintain constant growth of the agri-business sector, the state has created a number of organisations that have provided support from different perspectives, one of which is Achipia (the Chilean Agency for Food Safety for its acronym in Spanish). The organisation was born in 2005 with the initial goal to propose a National Food Safety Policy, which came into force in 2009. Two years later, ‘Food Quality’ was included as a priority of the agency. Today, Achipia’s corporate mission is to “Coordinate and drive the National Food Safety and Food Quality System and to implement the national policy of the area.” Assigned to the task is a full team of professionals from different fields.
Achipia has four strategic goals: 1 To design and implement an institutional model for the relationship and integration of the National Food Safety and Food Quality System. 2 To coordinate and provide support to the risk analysis
model of the National Food Safety and Food Quality System.
3 To unite and coordinate the National Food Safety and Food
Quality System with the production promotion system and research and development, together with innovation (R&D&I).
4 To serve as representative of Chile in issues related to
quality and food safety, at international level and, to coordinate the representation with the Codex Alimentarius, the National Codex Committee, the Secretariat and the focal point.
FROM RECTIFICATION TO PREVENTION
“WE BELIEVE IN PROMOTING THE CULTURE OF FOOD SAFETY, ” SAID MR LEPORATI.
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Michel Leporati, executive director, Achipia declared: “We have international leadership in food issues. We have built it based on continued public policies that have generated very important conditions for us to be in international markets, especially in anything related to food safety, health and quality.” Three indicators of this: firstly, Chile does not have critical food-borne public health issues; secondly, there are practically no difficulties in terms of access, undernutrition or hunger within the population; and thirdly, we display a phytosanitary status among the highest in the world. Partly due to the natural
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CHILE 2017 SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT
barriers that protect our country, we are protected against pests, virus and other type of pandemic. “But this does not come for free; it has to be worked upon. Today we are in more than 190 markets throughout the world, with more than 1,500 products across more than 50 product categories,” Mr Leporati asserted. Agribusiness is a very active entrepreneurial sector within exports. For this reason, establishing clear policies and support to growers has been a key element when exerting this food safety leadership. The food sector is a key development sector for Chile. According to Achipia’s estimates related to growth, this is the most important sector of the economy and quite probably will continue to be in the long term. “The food industry provides Chile with possibilities for growth and expansion through the creation of value together with intelligence and knowledge regarding global trends. Here we want to deepen our current performance, which requires us to correct certain aspects, improve what is being done properly, and innovate in the demands for today and tomorrow’s world,” said Mr Leporati. “The trend is to consume healthier foods. If we want to participate in this new world we have to adapt to new requirements,” he added. In practical terms, the modification is done within the management model that goes from a rectification model to a preventive model. That might sound easy but it implies important changes. As specified by Mr Leporati: “The logic behind ‘from farm to table’ lies in the institution’s exerting its own action, meaning a tremendous coordination effort within our institution. We acknowledge that the world of food is highly complex and a system with many stakeholders in different roles has to be coordinated by somebody. So what this agency does is to basically become an institution from that perspective”.
FOOD SAFETY CULTURE
It is well known that changing habits of a population implies constant and persevering work. It has to be done for years and the result is only visible in the mid-term. This calls for an intervention from a multidisciplinary point of view, starting from grassroots without leaving out the others.
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Achipia works with schools and kindergartens. The approach is to send messages through art shows that attract children’s attention. In these, different fruit and vegetable characters visit educational establishments and present a show or concert with messages instilling new generations with the value and importance of food hygiene. Mr Leporati explains: “We believe in promoting the culture of food safety. Nowadays, the responsibility lies within the authorities, based on a very small group of public organisations, all of which are aligned with the guidelines of FAO, WHO and other international organisations. This is a system where the work and responsibility of growers and consumers has to be known. It is an explicit acknowledgement of the role played by all participants.”
At the primary level of production, Chile has around 300,000 productive units and more than 20,000 chains linked to exports, with a very large volume of production. But many of them have not been able to adapt to the requirements of the largest markets. “Should they want to take this opportunity, they have to adapt to different operational standards. We have a clear goal: to incorporate new participants throughout the chain and thus increase the presence of Chilean enterprises at domestic level and, as a projection, to improve the export capacity of the country,” explained Mr Leporati. Companies are therefore encouraged to provide more sophisticated offers, rather than being only producers of commodities. With climate change, it is essential they manufacture products that will target a more exclusive public given that the demand requires safer products that are less sensitive to exogenous factors. Mr Leporati anticipates that “one of the ways in which Chile wants to foster its international leadership is through new productive strategies in agreement with new times and the specific characteristics of more developed countries”. “A specific proposal that is being implanted at the moment is related to generating proper conditions for the following 10 years. The idea is to create a positive change phenomenon with diversification and sophistication of the Chilean food offer by emphasising healthier foods. In that area, one of the facilitating aspects is to have the proper legislation in place together with an institution that will facilitate the process. And that is part of the task in which we are involved,” he informed. This is a process that has already begun. It is taking its first but strong steps. In fact, numerous initiatives have been promoted for the short-term to generate the adequate environment for research and regulation of safety and for food safety and quality. “We are already working on this with different labs and universities, stimulating, supporting and funding a number of projects,” he concluded.
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CHILE 2017 SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT
THE SECRETS OF A WELL-EARNED REPUTATION
ASIA IS A WELL-KNOWN DESTINATION FOR FROZEN FRUIT AND VEGETABLE COMPANY ALIFRUT THAT HAS BEEN EXPORTING PRODUCTS TO THE REGION FOR OVER 27 YEARS. UP UNTIL NOW, JAPAN AND SOUTH KOREA HAVE BEEN THEIR PRIMARY CUSTOMERS, BUT THE AIM IS TO DEEPEN TIES WITH THESE TWO ALLIES AND TARGET NEW MARKETS IN ASIA WHERE GREAT POTENTIAL HAS BEEN DETECTED. TWENTY-SEVEN years ago, Alifrut worked to position itself as a top-rate global exporter with customers in different markets, including the Asian market, which was quite novel at the time for Chilean producers. The company was born out of the aspiration of a group of entrepreneurs who were ahead of their time and able to foresee that Chile had unrivalled riches to offer. Today, the company is well-established nationally and internationally, and recognised for the quality of its products. The company’s inventory includes purees and frozen products among fruits and vegetables, which it offers to international and domestic customers through its brand Minuto Verde. Included among the vegetables are broccoli, cauliflower, broad beans, corn, peas, vegetable medleys, and asparagus. They also offer four primary types of berries: blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries, which come in organic and mix versions. To a lesser extent, they offer frozen grapes and kiwi, and import pineapple chunks and mango from other countries in the region. TRACING THROUGH THE CHAIN
He informed: “It is very important for us to maintain the supply of raw materials because it is a fundamental part of the chain. We try to take care of our workers, provide them with consultancy, help them finance whatever they may need, and support them during harvests, among other things.” Alifrut offers customers complete traceability of its products, from the time they are a mere seed until they are taken out of the package. They do this through the use of X-ray machines, which detect any damages, imperfections, or the presence of a foreign item in the fruit and vegetables. That is the secret behind the company’s success. Despite being sold frozen, their products preserve the smell, taste, and qualities of the raw material when it was fresh. “There is complete traceability; we know where each and every one of our fruits and vegetables come from—starting with the ground where the seed was planted, the chemicals that were used and in what amount, and when the fruit was harvested and frozen. If there is a defective product, we are able to find the causes quickly and resolve the issue in the short term,” specified Mr Rodríguez.
With over 30 years’ experience in this sector, the company has a core group of long-service agricultural workers. They also have well-known productive partnerships, according to Alejandro Rodríguez, the company’s export manager.
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CHILE 2017 SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT
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Alifrut also boasts all of the important certifications for its sector: BRC, Kosher, HACCP, APL, USDA Organic, and Energy Efficiency.
TREND TOWARDS NATURAL PRODUCTS
For Alifrut, sustainability is among its main priorities. “It is an issue that is absolutely relevant for us. This is why we have been concerned about being an economically, socially, and environmentally friendly company,” acknowledged Mr Rodríguez. What they have done in San Fernando is sufficient to attest that his words are not mere politeness, but rather, reflect a tangible reality. They have a modern liquid industrial waste plant at that factory, and are at the forefront in adhering to agreements that promote the reduction of carbon and water footprints. “Along with our mindset as a company, our customers demand this from us because there is currently a global trend towards producing healthier and more natural food products,” he added. “As producers, it is very important for us to know what is happening with global consumption trends. The trend towards seeking out organic food products has been going on for some years now, and it is becoming increasingly mainstream. People want healthy, nutritional, safe, and organic products. They are sometimes even willing to pay a higher price if they are guaranteed to receive healthier products. “As a company, we are taking on the challenge of this situation, and it does not pose any inconvenience to us. In fact, we have placed an emphasis on traceability from our very beginning. This is why we were a few steps ahead of many of our competitors who had to adjust to these demands,” Mr Rodríguez asserted.
THE FUTURE LIES IN ASIA
Alifrut currently handles a volume of 100,000 tons of frozen products a year, of which around 20,000 tons are designated for export and shipped to different markets around the world. The most highly prized products internationally are blueberries, due to their status of “super food”. Alifrut is one of the export leaders of frozen goods, accounting for 13 percent of all exports from Chile—a very high
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percentage considering the number of Chilean companies in the sector reaches around a hundred. Continued success is a great challenge for any company that aims to remain among the top competitors in the market. “Investments are the only way to keep levels of excellence and maintain the prestige the company has earned over the years,” posited Mr Rodríguez, who added that just over the last few months, they have integrated two new plants for retail products. They are also always on the lookout for new markets or greater penetration into the markets where they already have a presence. In this regard, Asia offers the best opportunities: because of its large population and because their consumption habits are changing and becoming ever more similar to Western habits, thus opening up new doors for products from that side of the globe. “Asia is undoubtedly an attractive market and very selective in terms of quality, safety, and traceability, and it is demanding more and more products from Chile. Alifrut has been exporting to Asia for over 27 years. We have been advancing bit by bit, and gaining more experience and trust from the importers every day,” explained the export manager. Their goals in this market? Good business. “Our primary customers are Japan and South Korea. Now we are working on getting good business in China. The short-term goal is to increase the volume of our exports, but incorporate an added value in berries and asparagus and other vegetables, thereby solidifying the progress we have already made over the years and consolidating the long-term relationship we have with our customers,” Mr Rodríguez responded. When asked why Asian consumers should have their eye on Chilean products, the manager has a clear understanding: “Chile features an extensive track record as a serious supplier with transparent and efficient policies that guarantee an offering of products that are high in quality, with traceability together with competitive prices. Not very many countries can say the same thing.” It is the well-earned reputation, which exporters such as Alifrut take on the challenge of defending day in and day out, that can bring Chile much success in future.
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CHILE 2017 SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT
PAINTING A WORLD IN RED
JUGOS CHILE IS A LEADING GRAPE JUICE COMPANY THAT IS READY TO TAKE WORLD MARKETS BY ASSAULT WITH A NEW PRODUCT: FRUTOS ROJOS—A DELICIOUS COMBINATION OF GRAPE, BERRIES AND WILD FRUIT. IT IS A COMBINATION RICH IN NUTRIENTS AND ANTIOXIDANTS. THIS IS JUST A FIRST STEP TOWARDS A LARGER DIVERSIFICATION.
IN 1992, grape juice producer and export company Jugos Chile was born from ‘mother’ company Empresas Lourdes (Empresas Lourdes S.A.), a worldwide bulk wine supplier. The holding focusses strongly on two business units: bulk wine and grape juice concentrate. Hector Muñoz, commercial director of the Juice division, remembers: “In 2008 we increased our product portfolio. We did not only offer red grape juices but we added white grape juices and varietal grape juice concentrates such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah etc. The idea was to diversify our offer by incorporating new strains to our catalogue.” Currently, Jugos Chile has a wide product offering from grape juice concentrate with different levels of colour of red grapes, white grapes juice concentrate, fresh grape juice, varietal juice concentrate and high colour products (pigments). The company has a production capacity of over 10,000 tons of juice concentrates per year. CARING FOR THE CHAIN
Although the company owns some of its fields, most of the raw material is obtained from farmers distributed in different areas of the country, with which they maintain productive alliances. Each one is different and relationships need to be built with them to maximise the land’s potential. Jugos Chile is aware of the challenge and always proposes stable, long-term relationships. Mr Muñoz declared: “Our policy has always been to protect the first link of the chain and to provide support to the raw material and the growers. We are convinced, and time has proven us right, that to maintain such a business everything must be sustainable—with raw material playing a key role.”
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The solid network of support by the company is materialised in visits and consultancies of specialised professionals, support in program development, etc. “This has paid off as it has allowed us to increase the quantity, improve the quality and maintain our network,” he said. It is clear that all parties in the chain need each other to continue growing, in a harmonic and synergic relationship where everyone wins. “Sustainability is a key factor of the business,” he confessed. We are between the growers and the customers who use our products. It is therefore critical that we ensure the supply is sustainable so our customers can maintain their demand in the market. The most important thing is to keep a value chain with a long-term projection; not looking at the business only from one side, but rather in a bidirectional way,” specified Mr Muñoz. This careful treatment is also seen in each of their productive processes. “We undergo annual audits by many customers. This forces us to have the most demanding certifications, such as BRC, IFS, HACCP and also Corporate Social Responsibility,” he said.
FOCUSING ON ASIA
Although they have customers in large markets, such as those in North America, their most important markets are in Asia. As a matter of fact, Japan accounts for majority of their exports and is where they send much of their annual production. Mr Muñoz said: “Our international benchmark is our more than 20 years of experience working together with them. We are the largest supplier grape juice concentrate from Chile in that market.” In other countries, they are also present such as South Korea, China, Thailand and Indonesia.
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When asked why Asian consumers should prefer products of Chilean origin, Mr Muñoz replied: “The quality of the Chilean fruit is acknowledged worldwide. Chile has unique geo-climatic conditions, thanks to the natural barriers that isolate it.” With the great temperature difference between day and night, there is a natural generation of “high concentration of sugars and fruit with more expression than in other countries.” It is especially good for the case of red grape, which turns Chile into a power within the sector. “Across the country there are large extensions of tintorera grape, which is virtually unique in the world, with high colour potential. Ninety percent of Jugos Chile’s production is focussed on concentrated juices of grapes, without the addition of sulphite (authorised preserving agent for grape juice and wine) and are highly valued for their purity,” explained the manager. This inherent product safety has allowed the company to be a leading player in an increasingly growing and demanding market, such as the baby foods industry. In fact, one of its main customers is a giant: Gerber, a company that was acquired by the multinational Nestlé and is one of the dominant players in the field.
But grapes are not the only star product that Chile has to offer to the world. It also has berries—wild fruit that have obtained an increasing popularity in the recent years as scientists uncover more health benefits they can offer. Attentive to this situation and together with the goal of only selling commodities and to incorporate products manufactured
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for retail, Jugos Chile created a new product with which it wants to shake markets: “Frutos Rojos”, or “Red Fruits”. “Frutos Rojos” is an exquisite and nutritious blend of grape, strawberry, maqui, prune, raspberry and blueberry, without added sugar, low in calories and lush in antioxidants. Developed in more two years of research, Frutos Rojos is the first functional juice made 100 percent in Chile for the world, said Mr Muñoz. “We first launched it last year at the SIAL Fair in France, and we expect to be in several markets before the end of 2017. We are very proud and excited.” This is only one of the three pillars that Jugos Chile is focussed on for the following years. “Our goal for the short-term is to maintain the core business of grape juice concentrates. The idea is to activate two more business lines with time: Frutos Rojos’ production for retail, and working directly with natural pigments used in the food ingredient sector,” he explained. The key is to open the door to retail without closing the sale of raw material. He acknowledges that the state, through ProChile, has stimulated this important change in the economic matrix of the exporters. This transformation is related to the current changes in times. Currently, a comparative advantage Chilean producers offer is the favourable tariffs due to the many free-trade agreements the country has. Nonetheless, the trend is indicating that new competitors will also be able to obtain the same benefits; Chilean growers will therefore have to reinvent themselves to try to participate in these markets. At Jugos Chile, they understand that all threats become opportunities and “Frutos Rojos” is only the tip of the iceberg with which they expect to make the world a brightly coloured place.
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CHILE 2017 SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT
THEY DON’T STAY FROZEN
APFRUT, A PRIMARY GLOBAL PRODUCER OF CHERRIES AND OTHER FROZEN FRUITS IS EXPLORING NEW SALES CHANNELS, SUCH AS RETAIL, AND HAS A CLOSE EYE ON OPPORTUNITIES THAT ARE OPENING UP FOR THEM IN THE ASIAN MARKET. THE HUGE CHALLENGE FOR THEM IS TO DIVERSIFY WHILE CONSISTENTLY MAINTAINING HIGH-QUALITY STANDARDS.
ROMERAL is one of those towns where time seems to stand still. Located here and nestled beside the Andes Mountains some 200 km south of Santiago is Agroindustria Pinochet Fuenzalida Limitada (APFrut). Starting out with producing strawberries, they moved to installing freezing equipment to add value to the product instead of just selling the raw material. “Starting that year, we began to incorporate other fruit and targeted international markets,” described Ignacio Osorio, business director of APFrut. The plant currently processes over 10,000 tons per year, with its primary products being raspberries, blackberries, cherries, blueberries, and strawberries, as well as the marginal production of kiwis, grapes, and boysenberries, which are typically made when requested by a private client. A new business unit was introduced in 2015: fresh cherry exports that are sold specifically to the Asian market. “This business unit allows us to give continuity to people when frozen products are not in demand, and lets us take advantage of the high demand for this in Asia,” confirmed Mr Osorio. The company is currently expanding their selection to retail products—moving from only offering ingredients for food and beverage manufacturers to offering products for the endconsumer. On the reason for this diversification, Mr Osorio explained: “We don’t see it as a product for profit, but rather it will open up the path for other products that are a little bit harder to sell.”
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The “Chilean Origin” is one of the elements that separate APFrut from its competitors in the industry of exporting frozen and fresh fruit. The key factors can be summed up in the following concept: quality and good service. “We are vertically integrated with our own fruit. Clients arrive here and we take them to visit the fields. They can see the harvests, mechanised equipment we use, and our plant processes with first-class facilities. They can see for themselves that we offer a top-quality product,” explained Mr Osorio. Eduardo Pinochet, the company’s general manager, added: “We have very stringent safety policies which we believe are a way of standing out after the US’ introduction of the FSMA (Food Safety Modernisation Act). We’re focussed on that this year and are working tirelessly to create a great distinction for buyers that run the risk of purchasing from companies that do not have the safety standards. This is a large trend in Chile and a grand opportunity.” APFrut constantly invests in their own plantations and works with the same suppliers to ensure that these fruits remain free of pesticides and other viruses and diseases. “Currently, frozen products are already a commodity; standing out from the rest has become more difficult. That’s why we continue to push ahead on the agricultural side. We have all of the sides covered in our first-rate facilities. The key is to provide our clients with a good service,” explained Mr Osorio.
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CHILE 2017 SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT
Excellence in the processes is underpinned by several certifications that validate the exhaustive work that has been done: HACCP, BRC, Kosher, and Sustainability certifications. Likewise, there are clients that make certain sustainability demands of their suppliers: i.e. sustainable resources, fair treatment of workers, and almost-zero water and carbon footprints. “This is a trend that is becoming increasingly relevant in the world and we are taking on the challenge,” confirmed Mr Osorio. But concern is coming from higher up. The state is very strict with exporters because the prestige of the “Chilean Brand” cannot be put into jeopardy. “We are always called upon to go beyond just complying with the standards, not only doing what is required of us,” he confessed.
AN EYE ON ASIA
The primary market for the company’s frozen fruit is the US and Canada, although they also maintain businesses in Japan, Europe, and other smaller markets in Latin America. They lead the market for frozen cherries in Chile, presently processing a volume of 1,700 tons. “We aim to reach 2,500 tons in the next two years,” said Mr Pinochet.
Already he is eyeing a very special client. “Exporting frozen cherries to China is still not permitted. We think it will be the next big market for this product. We are working through Chilealimentos to comply with the health protocols to be able to export as soon as possible. Chile exports a lot of fresh cherries, so there is no reason for this to not be possible with frozen cherries,” he stated. It is a fact that other producers around the world are fixated on Asia. It is a gigantic market that has become more permissive of Western customs over the last few years, especially in terms of food. “It is highly attractive. That’s where the stakes are aimed. We believe that the greatest possibility for growth is going to be in China and Southeast Asia in the coming years. We are searching for formulas and market information to decide where and when to take a gamble. It is a market that we are keeping a very close watch on; that is where future growth lies,” reflected Mr Osorio.
COMPETITIVELY MEETING DEMANDS
Chilean producers enjoy the advantage of having Free Trade Agreements with many nations from the East, which basically means their products require a low tariff payment, making them very competitive in terms of price.
WE BELIEVE THAT THE GREATEST POSSIBILITY FOR GROWTH IS GOING TO BE IN CHINA AND SOUTHEAST ASIA IN THE COMING YEARS. IT IS A MARKET THAT WE ARE KEEPING A VERY CLOSE WATCH ON; THAT IS WHERE FUTURE GROWTH LIES,” REFLECTED MR OSORIO. “Chile has very good treaties, but these do not apply to all fruits. Cherries and raspberries are not yet part of the portfolio. We are aware that Chilealimentos and the government are in the advanced stages of negotiations for the catalogue of products to continue growing, so we’re still waiting. We know that we must be prepared to be at the forefront and reap the benefits when the agreement comes through,” asserted Mr Osorio. Being aware of consumer demands is an ongoing concern at APFRUT. And the development of organic products is on the short-term agenda. Eduardo reveals that this market is of interest to them. “We have a special program for fresh and frozen organic cherries with our own harvests, and we work with our farmers on this. In 2018, we will have our own production of organic cherries. We have definitely observed a greater demand for organic produce and this will continue to grow. It is a niche that we would like to and should target,” stated Mr Osorio.
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BAYAS DEL SUR
CHILE 2017 SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT
THE HEART OF EARTH
FOR ALMOST 30 YEARS, BAYAS DEL SUR HAS BEEN OBTAINING FRUIT FROM THE DEEP PATAGONIA AND TAKING THEM TO THE TABLES OF THE WORLD. THE WEALTH FOUND IN SUCH WILD AND ORGANIC PRODUCE IS DIFFICULT TO FIND ANYWHERE ELSE. IT IS A REAL TREAT TO THE PALATE AND THE HEALTH OF CONSUMERS. TO walk through Patagonia is like being part of fantasy author J.R.R. Tolkien’s imagination: waterfalls, glaciers, volcanoes, forests, lakes, rushing rivers, creeks, hills, valleys and thousands of colours. Right at the beginning of this mythical Chilean Patagonia is where you can find the company Bayas del Sur. Founded in 1989, the company dedicated its first years to process raspberries obtained from their 100-hectare plantation. In the mid-90s, they sought to diversify their catalogue in search of new economic prospects. Turning away from traditional fruit, they looked at more exotic and less-known species, such as wild fruit like maqui berry, myrtle, elderberry, rosehip, blackberry and Magellan barberry. The company offers these conventional juice concentrates, 100 percent natural organic fruit purees (highly popular for smoothies), natural essences, freeze-dried fruit and vegetable powders, and spray-dried and concentrated berry blends. These are used as food ingredients as well as for cosmetics, nutraceuticals and laboratories. Because these are wild fruit, special attention is paid to taking only what naturally provides—no more, no less. What is obtained is taken to a collecting centre where it is transferred to the Purranque plant, and then treated with highly technological processes that prevent loss of flavour, aroma or any of its tremendous health benefits.
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The company mainly exports; 95 percent of their production is sent to about 30 foreign countries, such as the US, Japan, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, some European countries and South Korea.
TALK ABOUT ‘SUPERFOODS’ RATHER THAN ‘FOOD’
In the last decade, food research studies have focussed on natural products that offer countless benefits for the health of human beings—“Superfoods”, which consist of fruit such as blueberries, blackberries, myrtle, rosehip and maqui berry. Only growing in Chile, Maqui berry especially defines a superfood: it holds the highest antioxidant power among all fruits, improves blood glucose levels, and has a high level of fibre and polyphenols. Concerned with meeting the highest international requirements, Bayas del Sur has several certifications: HACCP, Halal, Kosher, BCS-Organic and BRC-GFSI. “We have seen an upward trend in all organic products in the last five years. Chile already has thousands of hectares of organic crops, and which can be proven organic; with the advancement of science, food analysis can easily find agrochemical residues. What is important is that consumers worldwide are willing to pay a little more for an organic, healthy and certified product. “Chile acts well in this regard. In fact, the Agricultural and Livestock Service controls organic production to ensure that all protocols are met, providing reliability to Chilean and foreign
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CHILE 2017 SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT
consumers,” explained Miguel Angel Montes, general manager, Bayas del Sur. The executive emphasises that traceability of raw material is completely guaranteed. He declared: “We work with our suppliers from the very beginning and control all stages to ensure the quality of the final product. We observe strict controls. Our fruit is free of funghi, yeast and foreign matter, and is not fermented. We use national and international laboratories for the analysis of heavy metals and agrochemicals.”
WIDENING THE OFFER
The company is always searching for new businesses, taking in consideration all new possibilities and analysing others. Once criticised for locating their plant where they are instead of Chile’s capital Santiago, they have over the years earned the favour of farms that have gone to the south of Chile. The inexpensive land, Mediterranean climate, and the good weather get the company closer to the fruit, making it a positive situation, according to Mr Montes. According to estimates in Chile, fruit crops have relocated between 250 and 400 km from the central area to the south
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of the country. Surrounded by different fruit growers, it allows them to consider new projects. “For example, around us are about 30,000 hectares of cherry. Therefore, we can export fresh produce, or even frozen, puree, maraschino cherries, juices, marmalade and others. It means we can open ourselves to new niches and new business lines. This is a hidden treasure that the world is valuing.”
In Chile, only mining surpasses the agribusiness industry in the generation of resources for the country. But the difference is that for every 1,000 tons of fruit produced, it generates seven to eight jobs; only one person works in the same tonnage of extraction of minerals. That is why the fruit and vegetables industry are a sensitive sector for the economy. Mr Montes believes in an even stronger stake: “Chile is the largest fruit producer and exporter of the Southern Hemisphere. However, I think we still have to transform ourselves into a true agri-food power. We are still in the middle of the road, and we have options in meat, milk, processed fruit and fresh fruit”.
1/11/17 3:36 pm
CHILE 2017 SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT
THE LARGEST GLOBAL PRODUCER OF MEDITERRANEAN FRUIT PULP, AGROZZI, IS EXPLORING NEW NICHES IN THE ASIAN MARKET WITH PRODUCTS TAILORED TO THE PALATE OF DEMANDING CONSUMERS THAT ARE OPEN TO TASTING NEW FLAVOURS. STAYING at the top of the game is a difficult task. It is a challenge faced by many companies daily. Amidst increasing competition, one company that stands out is Carozzi. Founded in 1889, it is a multinational corporation with plants in Peru and Chile. The agro-industrial area of the company, Agrozzi, was born out of an ongoing search for reinvention and diversification. It has a total annual production volume of 270,000 tons, comprising tomato pastes, fruit pulps, vegetables, and juice concentrates. Most of this (98 percent) is sold to four continents, with important customers in North America, Europe, and Asia; the remaining percentage is consumed in the domestic market. MORE AND BETTER JUICES
Agrozzi handles tremendous volumes of juice. And they have just made a significant investment to continue growing. “Expanding our juice concentrate plants with the integration of a new evaporator and three new presses allows us to go from producing 30,000 tons of apple juice concentrate a year to 40,000 tons. This results in a significant increase of 25 percent and lets us target new markets,” explained Cristián Alemparte, export manager, Agrozzi. “Asia is a very relevant market for us and we are betting a lot on them. Japan, for example, has great potential and we are growing strong; South Korea is similar, because they value the quality and prestige of the Chilean origin and we have commercial agreements that allow us to be competitive in terms of price, among other things. These provide us with a foundation to develop future business,” explained the manager. Although apples have earned the company international recognition in the juice market, they are exploring other fruits to diversify their selection. They now provide processed kiwi,
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plum, and blueberries—blueberries particularly have opened up significant alternatives over the last few years. Mr Alemparte shares: “Chile has become a major blueberry producer on the global level. Blueberries generate raw material for our industry together with rejects that have opened up a new possibility for supply and competitiveness in costs, as these can be used in puree and juice concentrates.” Considered a ‘superfood’ due to the large amount of health benefits provided when consumed, blueberries enjoy an explosive demand especially among developed countries that see more upscale consumption, like the US, Japan, South Korea, or Europe. More exporters are thus interested in their production, opening up business opportunities for processedfood companies such as Agrozzi. The plan is to take advantage of the pre-existing enthusiasm for blueberries and offer them in other forms. “Since consumers already know the fresh fruit, its taste and health benefits, they are far more open to trying by-products; it is easier to penetrate these markets and create demand for pulp and juice concentrates, for example,” stated Mr Alemparte. Around 15 percent of Agrozzi’s total production goes to Asian markets, with Japan and South Korea being their primary destinations, although in recent years they have also garnered interest in other markets, such as Thailand. It is a significant volume, but Mr Alemparte asserts there is still potential for growth: “We meet all quality and certification requirements demanded by these markets, so we can tap into markets like China and India, which are seeing increasing disposable incomes. They are potentially very interesting due to their big populations, and because I believe they will move towards imported fruit sooner or later.”
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CHILE 2017 SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT
THE COMPOTE BOOM
Agrozzi recently added cutting-edge, Italian-made equipment to its plant to produce pulps (not from concentrate). “Called Zenith, the machine produces higher-quality fruit pulps with greater productivity, better consistency, better organoleptic elements of taste and colour, while preserving the unique nutrients of each fruit,” Mr Alemparte described. This investment directly targets the not-from-concentrate fruit pulp market, which comprises premium products that may cost more, but that more mature consumers appreciate because they are healthier. Compotes, mixtures of chunky fruit in juices, have seen a boost thanks to these breakthroughs, and are successful in the domestic market. They have also entered many places due to their numerous qualities. “Compotes follow the trend of healthy products that are natural and low in calories. Chile has been a case study because compotes entered the market and increasing consumption was seen across the board, from children to parents. This phenomenon repeated itself in Asia in baby food or snacks. It went from being a mixture of fruits to products that are more functional, such as the mixture with yogurt and oats. “We are doing some co-packing overseas and we are going to continue evaluating the portfolio for new customers, as we have integration between fruit, compotes and the contact network. It is definitely a niche that we are going to target,” emphasised Mr Alemparte. Agrozzi’s contact with the markets now is much more targeted. The aim is for the products to win over consumers by appealing to their tastes and idiosyncrasies. “We see the need to develop made-to-order products based on the different requirements of the industries pertaining to dairy, juice, nectar, snacks, and offer them exactly what they may need,” he explained. Technological sophistication is precisely what allows companies to opt for targeted diversification of the offering and create new products that are different from what is regularly produced, if the customer warrants this.
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THE APPEAL OF CHILE AND ITS PRODUCERS
Chilean producers stand ahead of competitors for various reasons, but undoubtedly the most important one is the quality and safety of their fruits and vegetables, which is guaranteed by the country’s unique geographical location and climate. These allow fruit to naturally conserve more sugar, have a better appearance and fragrance, and a more pronounced flavour. Other reasons include their reputation as a trustworthy partner with a long track record and experience in exports. Signing commercial agreements with many Asian countries allow them to offer competitive rates, and being located in the Southern Hemisphere, Chile’s harvest falls during a different time period than the majority of producers worldwide. For Mr Alemparte, this last factor is a “significant advantage, because the customer can plan their supply, with one part coming from the Northern Hemisphere and the other from the Southern, without placing their chain at risk.” He further adds, “Having reliable suppliers in both halves of the planet becomes a strategic positioning.” Another relevant issue for the company is sustainability. They take this seriously because they know that the future depends on the decisions being made right now. “We have had a sustainability program for five years that applies to the entire productive chain, from the agricultural workers’ safety and working conditions, to the responsible use of water, and appropriate waste management,” he specified. Their certifications are renewed yearly, and in their endeavour to reduce their carbon footprint, Agrozzi works almost exclusively with recyclable materials and several of their plants have zero waste emissions.
1/11/17 3:40 pm
CHILE 2017 SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT
PUSHING FOR CHANGE FROM THE TOP GOVERNMENTAL AGENCY CORFO IS PROMOTING A PROGRAM THAT AIMS TO DOUBLE EXPORTS FROM CHILEAN FOOD PRODUCERS IN 2025. AN AMBITIOUS PLAN, IT HAS FOUND SUPPORTERS IN UNIVERSITIES AND AMONG ENTREPRENEURS AND INVESTORS WHO SEE THIS STATE INCENTIVE AS FAVOURABLE FOR IMPROVING TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION INDEXES IN THE INDUSTRY.
During the first half of the 20th century, Chile was seen as an underdeveloped country and the government sought a solution to initiate an industrialisation process that would allow them to take a quantitative leap. The 1939 earthquake triggered the creation of an agency to support entrepreneurship and innovation, at first to aid in reconstruction, and later to improve the country’s competitiveness with a focus on bridging the gap with developed countries. Named the Chilean Economic Development Agency (CORFO for its acronym in Spanish), this institution now lends support to over 200,000 beneficiaries through different programs in efforts that have been crucial to the country’s development.
FOCUSING ON THE EXPORT MARKET
One area in which special emphasis has been placed lately is in the production and exportation of food products. Chile has a well-earned reputation in international markets due to its highquality fruit and vegetables, trust inspired by its business owners, numerous free trade agreements, and unique phytosanitary conditions in the world thanks to its surrounding natural barriers. However, due to diverse factors like the appearance of new competitive players and an increasingly unstable climate due to global warming, Chile has remained stagnant in the indexes of participation in the global market, barely reaching just 1.16 percent. To improve this for the good health of the Chilean economy, a strategic plan was needed.
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CREATING A MORE COMPETITIVE FOOD SECTOR
CORFO thus launched the program Diversification and Sophistication of the Chilean Food Industry (2015-2025). Implemented by Transforma Alimentos, this initiative entails a public-private partnership with involvement from important government entities, such as the Ministries of Agriculture, Economy, and Health, and trade associations like Chilealimentos. The objective of this plan is clear: to place Chile among the role models in the production of food products around the world, and double the value of exports in the sector by the year 2025 through diversification and sophistication of the national export supply. “Chile currently exports US$18 billion in food products. We hope the value of these exports doubles over the next 10 years. There needs to be a common vision among the public and private sectors and academia, and a more competitive food sector, i.e. production with more sophistication and a diversified export selection,” suggests Graciela Urrutia, program manager. Concrete time frames were defined to make progress bit by bit. “A road map was established in a joint effort with all of the stakeholders involved, with goals for the short, medium, and long term which will allow us to efficiently measure the attainment of the proposed goals,” explains Marcela Angulo, CORFO’s technological capacity manager. The investment will be on a large scale, given that the stakes are huge. CORFO will invest close to US$100 million in initiatives and programs between 2016 and 2017, informs Ms Urrutia.
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Asia Pacific Food Industry