Chilean fisheries and aquaculture have grown exponentially in the last 30 years, due to a strong production and international positioning. Chile is renowned for its natural marine resources which allow diversified fishing exploitation, thanks to its privileged position in the South Pacific and the Humboldt Current, rich in phytoplankton.
These conditions have allowed this fast growing industry in Chile to gain more strength. The global shipments of Chilean salmon and trout surpassed the $3.5 billion in 2013, showing a 22 per cent increase in comparison to 2012. Meanwhile, the Mussel shipments showed a 20 per cent increase during the same period. These results support the successful implementation of a public-private strategy implemented by Chile, in which trade promotion tools have been developed to improve global recognition of the Chilean product and to increase exports.
At the 2013 European Seafood Exposition, Chile sought to convey to Europe the importance of their market for Chilean seafood, putting special emphasis on the sustainability of their production. That message has apparently derived in significant results, which are quantified by the amount of shipments that this industry has made from Chile to Europe, achieving an important milestone when seafood exports increased in more than 44 per cent, exceeding the billion USD for the first time. This, of course, sustained by a clear strategy of market diversification strongly positioning new markets such as Russia, Turkey, Ukraine and Poland among others, and on the other hand, an important maintenance plan that highlights the sustainable nature of the Chilean offer in key markets such as Spain, France, Germany and Italy.
“The number of export companies attending the Chilean pavilion has constantly increased, which shows companies’ particular interest in participating in this fair, under the same sectorial umbrella,” said Christophe Desplas, Director for ProChile in Benelux.
“We have already made progress by showing Europe the fundamental changes of the Chilean industry, as for example the new law on sustainable fisheries and the modification done to the aquaculture regulations in Chile. This time, Chile’s aim is to enhance our offer of added value seafood products in more consolidated countries, and to keep improving our market participation in the newest markets,” concluded Mr Desplas.
Salmon and Mussels, a key part of the Chilean offer in Europe
Both salmon and mussels experienced significant increase in their exports to Europe. Salmon increased its shipments in a 147 per cent, going from $219 million in 2012 to $541 million in 2013. Meanwhile, mussels shipments totaled $136 million in 2013, 19 per cent more than in 2012, year in which they totaled $114 million.
“It is very important for the Chilean industry to participate in these international fairs. The demand of healthier diets makes our product – the Patagonian salmon – a key and relevant actor in global nutrition, which produces a strong interest from competitive markets in having highest in healthy protein products as part of their offer,” noted Felipe Manterola, Finance and Administration Manager for SalmonChile.
He added: “We know that we have great competitive advantages that place us as the second largest salmon producer in the world, mainly due to our privileged geography and climate conditions in the South of Chile, which are optimal for the development of aquaculture. Today we are in a good place to keep growing. The world is following a path of progress and with this comes a trend of healthier nutrition with healthy products such as salmon.”
Meanwhile, Pedro Pablo Ovalle, Executive Director for Patagonia Mussel, the delegation travelling to Brussels in representation of the Chilean mussel, said: “What always motivate us to participate every year in this important fair is to further our commercial ties with Europe, our main market. Even though the first places for the export rankings of these types of products in Europe are occupied by Spain, France and Italy, this event still allows us to keep reaching new horizons as it was Russia a couple of years ago.”
“On the other hand, Seafood Expo Global allows us to get closer to the Asian markets which, we have no doubt, will continue moving forward in the nearby future,” he added.