Export of Chilean organic products grows and reaches USD 307 million

The Office of Agrarian Studies and Policies (Odepa) yesterday published a bulletin with the update of exports related to Chilean organic agriculture, this in the corresponding period between January and November 2021, an analysis in which the increase in surface area stands out. certified organic, which accounts for the growth in production and exports of these products, which in 2020 exceeded USD 311 million, reaching more than 50 countries.

It also indicates the document, and as published SimfruitIn recent years, the number of Self-certified Organic Farmers Organizations (OAE) has increased, which is very important to satisfy the demand for organic products in the national market.

Regarding exports of Chilean organic products, in 2020 they reached 100.177 tons for a FOB value of 311 million dollars. While between January and November 2021, 93.566 tons worth 307 million dollars have been exported.

The main exported products -except for wines- between January and November 2021 correspond to fresh and frozen blueberries as those of greatest relevance in terms of value for Chile, where the exports of these two products total USD 147.893.000, which agglomerates more than 57% of the total exported value.

In terms of destination of Chilean organic product exports - during the analyzed period - these have had as main destinations the United States (55.830 tons) and Canada (8.280 tons), amounting to FOB USD 186.675 and FOB USD 28.906 respectively. These two countries represent 70% of Chilean organic shipments, being part of the 60 countries, from all continents, that receive Chilean organic products.


According to the latest official data of the sector, which are obtained from the Computer System of the National Registry of Organic Certification maintained by the Agricultural and Livestock Service (SAG), the total certified organic area of ​​the country, as of December 2020, reached a total of 289.044 hectares (table 1), which includes both the cultivated area and the area certified for wild collection (130.526 ha).

From the SAG data, it is possible to analyze in a general way, the behavior of the sector. This is how it can be seen that in 2020 the total certified organic area grew by 155% due to the strong increase in the area of ​​pastures, with 129.000 certified hectares that are located in the Magallanes Region, with a livestock focus.

Surface with larger fruit trees. According to the ODEPA document, if the organic area cultivated by item is analyzed, the largest number of hectares corresponds to larger fruit trees, including the wine grape, reaching a total of 2020 hectares by 10.773 (table 2), being the species more important in area, the wine grape (4.408 hectares), apple tree (2.650 hectares) and olive tree (927 hectares).

As can be seen, the information provided by the SAG each year is more detailed, being able to know the organic surface of other fruit trees such as, for example, mandarin with 34 hectares. As can be seen in table 2, most of the species showed growth in the certified area, the species that showed the greatest increase, hazel, which went from 17 to 378 hectares and olive trees from 146 to 927 hectares. On the contrary, the species that showed a decrease in surface area were chestnut (-98%), pomegranate (-46%), avocado (-44%) and pear (-17%).

Surface with minor fruit trees. In the case of the so-called minor fruit trees, an increase in the total area of ​​64% is observed, from 6.801 to 11.120 hectares, due to the increase in the area of ​​the main species, blueberry (49%), raspberry (34 %), and strawberry (212%), which responds to a higher demand for these products (table 3).

Regarding the production of organic blueberries, which is the crop with the largest area in this category of products, it should be noted that the increase in its area is due to the fact that, in October 2020, the United States Department of Agriculture ended the process consultation of the System Approach for blueberries from the Biobío and Ñuble regions, and published in the “Federal Register” the System Approach standard for blueberries produced in these two regions.

The publication of this standard opened this important market for the export of fresh organic blueberries to the US since the System Approach allows a set of pest risk management measures that this market requires as an alternative to fumigation with bromide of methyl.

To achieve the objective of exporting under this system, it is required, on the one hand, the certification of the products as organic, and on the other, that the producers maintain their properties without the Lobesia botrana plague.

It is important to point out that, in the Ñuble and Biobío regions, one third of the country's conventional blueberry area is concentrated, and the largest area is organic blueberry.

By having the approved System Approach (inspection system at origin), this fruit will not lose its organic status by not having to fumigate with methyl bromide, which benefits the export of fresh blueberries, since fumigation decreases the quality of the fruit and that results in its price and in a loss of competitiveness with producers from other countries, who do not have to fumigate.

This is a great opportunity that was opened for these regions, both for conventional and organic fresh blueberries, being able to reach the United States without fumigation requirements, being able to achieve a differentiating and competitive value.

It should be noted that the United States is a very important market for Chile, so this System Approach will allow us to continue promoting shipments to this market, especially organic ones.

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