Valparaíso port system analyzes China's requirements for the fruit season

Franco Gandolfo, general manager of EPV and president of FOLOVAP, led a meeting where preventive measures for exports were evaluated in light of the demands of the Asian country.

With a view to the Fruit Season, and especially to the export of cherry, the Valparaíso Logistics Forum (FOLOVAP), the Association of Fruit Exporters of Chile (ASOEX) and businessmen of the field, met in an extraordinary way this week to analyze and evaluate the demands of the Chinese market and the recent notification by the authorities of this country to inspect cargo and its containers, in order to avoid possible traces of Covid-19 in food products.

Present at the meeting were Franco Gandolfo, president of FOLOVAP and general manager of Empresa Puerto Valparaíso; Roberto Fernández, regional director of Customs; Ramón Espejo, director of the Customs Chamber; in addition to the ASOEX Ports Committee, representatives of the SAG, concessionaires, extra-ports and warehouses, shipping companies and the Shipper Association (Agembfrut).

It is worth mentioning that Valparaíso is one of the main fruit exporting ports in the country, since according to the Office of Agricultural Studies and Policies (ODEPA), so far this year (January-August) 40% of Chile's fruit has left for Valparaíso. That is, 1,1 million of the 2,7 million tons of fruit that have been exported, has been made from the port of Valparaíso.

At the same time, in recent years the export of Cherry has gained great importance in the industry and, as of November, the service shared by the shipping companies Hapag Lloyd, ONE, HMM and MSC has become the official service for the export of this product to Asia, mainly China, whose transit time will be approximately 22 days and its first departure is scheduled for next November 11, with the Cauquenes ship sailing from Valparaíso.

It is in this framework, in which Valparaíso has positioned itself as a relevant departure port in the season and the world faces the Covid-19 pandemic, the president of FOLOVAP, Franco Gandolfo, stated that “it is necessary to be prepared with all the measures additional elements that guarantee the safe arrival of the products in their transit through the Valparaíso port system ”.

In addition, he added that the main objective of the meeting was “to know what would be the restrictions that we could face and based on this, also to see how each of the links in the logistics chain, from origin to destination, are being prepared and what additional elements we can implement. There was a lot of interest on the part of our community to know this, especially in this context, where we have to adapt to this situation and to the evolution that the country's health process has been having, in an activity that has to continue ”.

For his part, Sergio Maureira, general secretary of ASOEX, explained that “our main concern has to do with the only market that has placed special restrictions, or has informed us that we have to comply with different regulations, the Chinese market. They are going to do reviews of all kinds of incoming merchandise, not just fruit, verifying if there are traces of Covid ”.

Regarding this, he stressed that “we update a manual endorsed by the SAG, which served as the basis for the work with the Ministry of Health and Labor, the implementation of a step-by-step plan for the agricultural sector, where the SAG will have a participation different from the rest of the years, supporting in the control role ”.

Jaime Gutiérrez, Terminales Teporval manager, highlighted the instance, since it allowed ASOEX to explain “that the Chinese market will have some controls regarding traces of SARS-COV-2 in food products that arrive in China, both dry and reefer , and obviously non-compliance will mean suspensions to exporters of their shipments, which has more serious consequences for the markets and especially today that the Cherry season begins ”.

Finally, Georg Blumler, Sitrans Valparaíso agent, stated that they are taking care “to provide all the solutions that our clients require and to be their logistics partner. In all our warehouses we have a rigorous reefer dispatch procedure, ensuring the washing of all units and verifying the correct operation of their machinery to avoid packing problems. We are currently offering solutions focused on the Cherry season, to sanitize the units against SARS-COV-2 using a product validated by the US EPA, ECDC Europe, in addition to having registration with the ISP and authorization from the SAG. Our added value is to offer the service in our facilities or where the Client requires it. "

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