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Chilean cherry producers ready for CIIE with special techniques


Fruit producers in Chile took special techniques to grow and transport cherries to Shanghai, so that the popular fruit could get to the ongoing sixth China International Import Expo (CIIE) on time.

Since the first CIIE in 2018, Chilean cherries have been a popular product at the CIIE every year. Leveraging the strong promotional role of the CIIE, Chilean cherry producing companies have signed many large orders with Chinese companies and distributors.

The ripening period of Chilean cherries is from the end of October to the beginning of November. In order to enable the fresh fruits to catch up with the CIIE, local fruit growers used special technology to shorten the ripening period of cherries.

"The plastic covers the whole area. It's providing a warmer temperature inside or underneath the tent. With two or three degrees higher than the outer environment, the fruit will ripen earlier, and will be available at least a week to ten days earlier," said Francisco, sales manager of a Chilean fruit production company.

In 2018, China and Chile signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Within the BRI framework, Chile has proceeded with the construction of transportation infrastructure, so that fresh cherries can arrive at refrigeration centers and ports faster from the production base. The Chilean Fruit Export Association has also arranged fast shipping to China, so the cherries shipped by sea can arrive at Chinese ports in 20 days.

To maintain the fruit's fresh taste during ocean transportation, cherry production companies have also adopted special techniques in the packaging process.

"Technology used is basically a special plastic bag called modified atmosphere bag, which helps to keep the oxygen low and increases the carbon dioxide. This is a special bag designed for the cherries only, and it helps to extend the life of the fruit by up to 30 days," said Francisco.

The Chilean Fruit Exporters Association said that the total volume of cherries sold to China has been increasing year by year. It is expected that 85 percent of the cherries during this harvest season will be exported to China.

The sixth CIIE opened in Shanghai on Sunday, and will run till November 10. It is expected to attract guests from 154 countries, regions and international organizations, with over 3,400 exhibitors and 410,000 professional visitors registered to attend the event.

(If you have specific expertise and want to contribute, or if you have a topic of interest that you'd like to share with us, please email us at nature@cgtn.com.)

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