Antonio Walker, at the XXV International Blueberries & Cherries Seminar 2023:

“We do not depend on China, we depend on us, that we do things well…”

The former Minister of Agriculture and recently elected president of the National Agricultural Society (SNA), Antonio Walker, actively participated in the XXV International Seminar on Blueberries & Cherries, held this April 13 at the Monticello Conference Center.

On the occasion he presented his talk "Introduction of cherry cultivation in Chilean fruit growing", where he spoke about the current state of the activity, its phenomenology and behavior, and took advantage of making several calls to the Chilean industry in the perspective of improving practices and "not relying on the successful results achieved". “It can't happen to us like in the blueberry,” she warned.

"We are a very fragmented industry, with more than 200 exporters, more than 5000 small, medium and large producers, many varieties, many rootstocks, many areas...so we have to come together to agree on quality standards and condition of the fruit" , he pointed out.

The committee

Referring to the organizational aspect of the activity, he opined that "we have to relieve the country more, and the main function of the Cherry Committee should be to standardize the quality and condition of the fruit" and added:

"We must export better sizes, export better colors, better flavors, and that is achieved with a coordinating body and that coordinating body has to be the Cherry Committee that works at Asoex," he stressed.

Coordination

Almost at all times, Antonio Walker was emphasizing the need to improve practices and not be left alone with statistical results as the sole purpose and referring to the good reception in some markets, he commented:

“As I said before, we do not depend on China, we depend on us, that we do things well, so the time has come to coordinate. We do not compete with our neighbors, we do it with other countries and against ourselves. If we maintain a fruit with a good flavor, color, size and firmness, we have the future assured”, he assured.

Public-private partnership

Continuing with his strategic view of the cherry industry, focusing on improving management, agricultural practices, raising the organizational role of the Committee, he reflected on coordination with the State.

“We have suffered from good coordination and collaboration between the public and the private. We have to get together a lot more. We are not enemies, we are partners. When there is an industry like fruit growing, which generates employment, with work contracts, that is one less burden for the State. So we have to create a tremendous public-private alliance on issues as relevant as water, for example, in promoting new markets… We are very individualistic in Chile”, he concluded.

Source
Blueberries Consulting

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