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Taste of Chile’s 10 Year Anniversary Celebrates Feeding the World

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015

10th Annual Experience the Taste of Chile
Click here to view photos from the wine tasting and dinner

A major celebration highlighting the remarkable friendship and international trade contributions between the Republic of Chile and the Tri State Region took center stage at the elegant Hotel du Pont in Wilmington, Delaware. The Chilean & American Chamber of Commerce created an extraordinary testament to this most successful and cordial partnership, celebrating the Chamber’s 10th Anniversary of the Taste of Chile Awards Dinner, honoring the DuPont Company for their enduring connections with Chile.

Governor Jack Markell was on hand to present the Chamber’s Visionary Award to the DuPont Company. “We are so focused on the Port as an economic engine and jobs creator, but this relationship is also a huge jobs creator for so many thousands of people in Chile,” said the Governor. “It is such a win-win situation, they trust us to handle their prized wines and produce, we then enjoy their produce during the winter months and year round. DuPont’s work with Chile dates back to the 1850s. They do business there in mining, agriculture, aquaculture, they have 500 full time employees, plus seasonal employees, four research and development centers plus production facilities. It’s a deep relationship so they are the perfect recipient for this award.”

10th Annual Experience the Taste of Chile

Governor Markell had stellar remarks about the Chilean & American Chamber of Commerce.

He also complimented the work of Chile’s Honorary Consul for the Tri-State region, Benjamin Leavenworth, remembering fondly the state visit of Chilean President Michelle Bachelet. He had high praise for Leavenworth’s contributions to that peerless occasion.

DuPont Executive Vice President James C. Collins, Jr. accepted the Visionary Award on behalf of DuPont. Collins discussed the dramatic breakthrough in salmon aquaculture DuPont pioneered along with Aqua Chile. He also spoke of the important role Chile plays in seed production worldwide and their partnership with DuPont. He praised the work of Chile’s scientists and business community. Collins emphasized food security is one of the world’s most pressing issues. “At DuPont we apply our science to bring farmers new seeds and innovative crop protection products that produce better meals, we work with food companies to provide consumers with nutrition, taste and energy. Our celebration tonight is about feeding the world.”

10th Annual Experience the Taste of Chile

The evening’s gourmet menu included DuPont’s Verlasso Salmon, pioneered in Chile. Collins explained the salmon’s development is a venture between DuPont and AquaChile, now one of the largest suppliers of salmon in the Americas. “It’s aimed at changing the sustainability of farm-raised salmon. Today it takes 4 pounds of ocean-caught, feeder-fish to produce one pound of farm raised salmon. So we were able to come up with a yeast that actually produces protein and omega-3 oils. We replace much of the ocean-caught fish with this yeast feed-ration and we are now at one pound of salmon produced from one pound of ocean-caught fish along with the yeast feed. We also worked with the Monterey Bay Aquarium, based in California, a key seafood-watch program, that rates different types of production systems and in most cases they give farm-raised fish a pretty negative mark. The Verlasso Salmon system is one of the only systems that they have certified ‘safe.’ We got that endorsement over a year ago and we’re real proud of that.”

Collins also commented on the remarkable amount of Chile’s fruit and produce coming through the Ports of the Delaware River, saying, “The Chamber has been instrumental in keeping those trade routes open and supporting the local infrastructure that it takes to keep that kind of flow of goods and services into the country.”

10th Annual Experience the Taste of Chile

“This is quite an impressive international story,” said Martin Welch, Chief Operating Officer of Emerging Markets for Aramark, which is one of Chile’s largest employers with a staff of about 23,000 people. “You see the concerted cooperation between Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey all coming together in the interest of this region and the Republic of Chile. All of us are motivated to see how we can encourage more commerce between Chile and our region.”

Vice President of the Diamond State Port Corporation, Tom Keefer was a key player in orchestrating the anniversary event. “For our tenth anniversary, we could not have found a better company to honor than DuPont. They have been long-term investors and partners with the Chileans, especially in the agricultural sector, so we are delighted that they received the Visionary Award. We also need a special note of thanks to Governor Markell who always gives unselfishly of his time and we know he has a very busy schedule, but he always supports the Port tremendously and supports the Chilean & American Chamber whenever he is asked.”

10th Annual Experience the Taste of Chile

Chamber President Bob Palaima said, “We’ve had another wonderful year, culminating with her Excellency, Michelle Bachelet of Chile’s visit to our region, it’s our tenth anniversary for the Taste of Chile Awards. We have three states coming together on behalf of our great friend and trade partner, Chile. We have the remarkable support of the elected officials and business leaders of Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania and the relations between our two countries are the strongest they’ve ever been.”

“Our sponsors, partners and supporters deserve tremendous credit for their vision,” said Miriam Borja-Fisher, treasurer of the Chilean & American Chamber. “It is thanks to their overwhelming support that we are able to continue the extremely important work of this Chamber.”