2015 was a busy year for the Chilean Walnut Commission and its members. Here is a summary of our main accomplished objectives.
- Opening new markets and improving our position in pre-existing ones: Prospecting trips were organized in Japan, China and India. Through a major public-private initiative, efforts were made to gain access to China for unshelled walnuts and to gain access to India for walnuts in general. The Indian work has already been approved and we expect to sign with China very soon.
- Quality improvement and solving problems common to the entire industry: We managed to renew the INN (National Standardization Institute) standard based on the ChWC standard. Along these same lines, technical-agricultural and processing plant committees were created. The main projects carried out this year are: monthly agronomic reports, phytosanitary program, field days, product estimation, phosphite monitoring and heavy metal detection, LMR monitoring, organization of seminars and more.
- Work was done with national and international press through interviews with worldwide specialized media such as The Cracker, The Clipper, Food News and other major media outlets from China, Korea and other markets.
- Sector representability: We now have 19 members, which represent 80% of the cracked-walnut industry and 70% of the entire industry.
- Promoting Chilean walnuts internationally: Marketing campaigns were implemented in several locations around the world. In the European Union, we participated in Expo Milan through press conferences with Italian and German journalists, as well as with some of the most important specialized press in Europe. ChWC had a stand at the Anuga trade fair. In the Middle East, we had a stand at GulfFoodDubai, while in South Korea, we held ongoing campaigns, including seminars with importers, roadshows with wholesalers, workshops with bakers, advertising in specialized media and point of sale promotions, among other activities. In China, we organized seminars with importers, participated in direct marketing with major importers, worked with the country’s most important specialized press and participated in “Sabores de Chile” (Tastes from Chile) held in Beijing. On a global scale, press work was done with the world’s most important specialized media outlets (Europe, Chile, Middle East, Asia, Latin America), in addition to intense efforts on social media, such as Twitter and Facebook.
- Theft: The initiatives carried out by the trade union include legal actions in conjunction with the public prosecutor aimed at breaking-up the illegal associations behind these robbery cases, as well as a number of different preventive activities, such as workshops with the PDI (investigations police), partnerships with security equipment suppliers, agreements with insurance companies, and, as of right now, the industry is assessing the implementation of new technologies, such as mobile panic buttons, among others.