With shipments of $2.6 billion in 2011, the U.S. market became the main destination for Chilean food supply, and Chile's participation in the Fancy Food Show is a reflection of the importance the U.S. has to the South American country's exports
WASHINGTON, June 21, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The United States' position as the number one destination for Chilean food exports inspired Chile to make additional efforts during its 9th consecutive participation at the Fancy Food Show this week, featuring a large pavilion, its own demo kitchen and the Show's first-ever country branded food truck.
A total of 14 Chilean companies from the gourmet sector exhibited their high quality products, which included wines, olive oils, seafood, plums and glacial waters, among others. Several Chilean trade commissioners from around the U.S. as well as Chilean chef, Pilar Rodriguez, were a constant presence at the pavilion as part of Chile's effort to demonstrate its interest in consolidating its position as a reliable supplier of high quality food products to the U.S. market. Chile's ambassador, Felipe Bulnes, also made an appearance and actively participated at the Show, attributing part of his country's success in food exports to the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between both countries.
"Since the implementation of the Free Trade Agreement with the United States, our exports to this market have increased by 80%. This has created opportunities for new sectors, especially for companies that export non-traditional, more sophisticated products, such as those representing us at this gourmet event," said Ambassador Bulnes.
In addition to the opportunities brought by the FTA, Chilean Trade Manager in DC, Alejandro Buvinic, explained that Chilean companies' offerings are successful because their quality responds to the demands of the American consumer.
"The U.S. consumer stands out as one of the most demanding and informed in the world, where quality and presentation of food are essential in raising its intention to purchase. This is where supply has positioned Chile, exhibiting strong market shares on products such as olive oil, where Chile ranks as the eighth supplier of this product to America," explained Buvinic.
Chile's participation at the Fancy Food Show kicked-off with a chef battle between DC-based Iron Chef competitor RJ Cooper and Chile's chef Pilar Rodriguez. Ambassador Bulnes continued Chile's festivities at the Fancy Food Show by hosting a reception at his residence.
The United States is the third largest destination for total Chilean exports, while it is the number one destination for food exports.
Organized by the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade (NASFT), the Summer Fancy Food Show is the largest exhibition of gourmet food in the world. With a total attendance of over 24,000 visitors, most of them with power of decision to purchase, exhibitors showcased approximately 180,000 products from more than 80 countries.
Chile is committed to addressing the challenges of reconciling sustainable exports and economic growth, social welfare and environmental stability. The Chilean Pavilion at the Fancy Food Show was certified Carbon Neutral, and in total, Chile neutralized 145 tons of CO2 emitted from its participation in the Fancy Food Show.