Cranberry poised to follow Chilean wine in popularity
By Kim Se-jeong
If you are a fan of dried cranberries and blueberries with your breakfast cereal and morning yogurt, you are in luck. They just might become a little more affordable.
Chile, a world leading exporter of dried fruits and nuts, is looking to bolster its presence here, and you can add mozzarella and Gouda cheese to the list, too.
Korea and Chile signed a free trade agreement (FTA) in 2003, but it was not until this year that Chilean dried fruits, nuts and a handful of other food products were permitted into the country without restriction.
The Chilean Ambassador to Korea Hernan Brantes hosted Agriculture Minister Luis Mayol, some 50 local food importers and six Chilean food producers for a networking reception at the Shilla Hotel in Seoul, Tuesday, in conjunction with the Seoul Food and Hotel Expo at KINTEX that took place from May 8 to 11.
“In Chile, we are definitely open for business,” Brantes said in welcoming remarks. “The FTA with South Korea was the first signed with an Asian country, which clearly denotes the importance of the South Korean market for Chile’s growth strategy.”
Mayol is on a two-week three-nation Asia tour from May 16 to promote up Chilean food products. He was in Seoul from Tuesday to Thursday. He flew in from India, where he jump started FTA talks there. The third leg of his trip is China.
Even though Korean-Chilean trade surged in the 2000s, foreign food products here still face complicated regulations and restrictions, called non-tariff barriers by trade experts.
Those barriers have denied local consumers delicious cheeses, nuts and dried fruits from the Andean nation at reasonable prices.
This year looks promising. Korea and Chile are celebrating the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations this year and, by promoting the relationship, dried cranberries may become as well known to local palates as Chilean wine.