Delaware Governor and Chilean Ambassador Celebrate First Chilean Fruit Shipment of 2012-2013 Season

Delaware Gov. Jack Markell welcomed Chilean Ambassador Felipe Bulnes and several Chilean entrepreneurs to the Port of Wilmington on Monday for the third annual Chilean fruit shipment to the state. The first shipment of Chilean winter fruit arrived to the U.S. onboard Pacific Seaways’s (PSW) chartered refrigerated breakbulk vessel.

“We are excited and honored that Delware’s seaport is the doorway through which Chilean fruit enters into North American homes this holiday season”  Markell said. He added, “Our robust bilateral trade and long and strong friendship with Chile create many good jobs and stimulates the economies on both sides of the equator and we are working to continue growing it into the future.”

Delaware’s Port of Wilmington oversaw 15.9 million cases of Chilean fruit estimated to value $600 million during the 2011-2012 season. On Monday, Markell tweeted that the shipment of Chilean fruits to Delaware supports 750 jobs at the port alone. “The Port of Wilmington Delaware produces jobs, revenue & fresh fruit that would otherwise be unavailable this time of yr. True win-win for Delawareans”; Markell tweeted.

The fruit trade between Chile and Delaware “generates $40 million in personal income, $42 million in business revenue and $4 million in tax revenue for the State and the region.”

Chilean Ambassador Felipe Bulnes attended the event with fellow Chileans Ronald Bown, President of Exporters Association (ASOEX), and Francisco Labarca, Executive Director of Pacific Seaways.”We are gathered here today to commemorate the strong fruit trade partnership that exists between Chile and the state of Delaware, reflected by the arrival of the first vessel of the 2012/2013 season carrying Chilean fruit at the Port of Wilmington, on of the main gateways in the East Coast for shipments of Chilean fresh fruit”; Bulnes said.

He added, “Over the past decades this industry has been one of the most dynamic and innovative sectors of the Chilean economy and the US is the main destination market for our agricultural products. We look forward to further strengthening the relationship between Chile and the State of Delaware.”

Monday’s shipment included almost 6,600 pallets of table grapes, blueberries, peaches, cherries, nectarines, apricots and plums.

Photos from Event

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