SANTIAGO – Chilean kiwifruit companies are expected to export close to 100 metric tons in the first significant commercial season for the Italian-developed variety Soreli.
While the Udine University-bred cultivar reached Chile in 2010, only now are the results starting to be seen with key markets to include China, South Korea and the United States.
Chile was the first Southern Hemisphere country to import Soreli plant material, which has been managed by Biogold Sudamerica (BGSA). In 2011, BGSA reached an agreement with five exporters to form a club to grow and export the variety from Chile, and to date these growers have 60 hectares in production.
The harvest started in the last week of February and finished on March 6, according to BGSA operations manager Beatriz Araya.
Companies Dole, Unifrutti, Rucaray, Subsole and compañía Chilena de Fruta (CCF) have formed the Chilean Soreli club in its first stage, and Araya says a new commercial development stage is about to begin with the original members given preferential options to keep growing.
“We are optimistic to start this new stage with our original members, but we believe there will be space for receiving new companies to be incorporated with the variety,” Araya says.