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Chilean Blueberry Committee elects new president

During the board session of the Chilean Blueberry Committee meeting held earlier this month, Felipe Silva, general manager of Zurgroup, was unanimously elected as the new committee president.  This follows the departure of Felipe Juillerat, formerly of Hortifruit.Photo-of-CBC-Executive-Director-and-PresidentAndres Armstrong, executive director of the Chilean Blueberry Committee, and Felipe Silva, president of the Chilean Blueberry Committee.

“It is a very unique time in the blueberry industry — not only in Chile, but also across the globe," said said Silva. "Changes in international supply are generating different challenges worldwide. ”

In the case of the Chilean blueberry industry, Silva addressed the need to deliver consistent quality.  “It is crucial that Chile achieves greater consistency in regard to the arrival condition of our blueberries. There is a new market reality with increased competition, so this is essential.  If we don’t continue to raise our standards, it could affect our leading role as a fresh blueberry supplier, a position that we have developed over many years.”

At the same time, Silva pointed out that “Chile has a proven food-safety record, and we have a product with a spectacular and sweeter taste, so there is great potential for us to be the preferred supplier.  In order to do this, we must reach new and existing markets with greater product consistency. We must also continue making progress in developing blueberry consumption in different parts of the world. ”

Silva highlighted the work that the industry has undertaken regarding varietal replacement, which has allowed the Chilean industry to arrive to market with a better quality fruit.  Additionally the “improvements in supply chains, such as the work undertaken to reduce the transit times to markets like Europe, have been important steps forward."

The new president of the committee said the leadership of the committee is key to advance the quality and condition of the product, as well as promotion activities and expansion of commercial opportunities for the Chilean blueberry industry.

"As a committee, we have played an important role in terms of quality, which has been reflected in the quality standard presented by the committee," said Silva. "This will enable our industry to better compete with other origins. I look forward to working with the committee to drive our industry forward.”