Delaware’s Port of Wilmington welcomed this year’s first shipment of Chilean winter fruit for the 2012-2013 season.
Alongside Gov. Jack Markell, (D-Del), Chilean Ambassador Felipe Bulnes marked the arrival of his country’s cherries, grapes, plums and other fruit, calling Gov. Markell a “good friend” of Chile.
“You have to understand that in Chile, the business of fresh fruit gives jobs to more than 500,000 people. So when we think about the U.S., we think, mainly… of the help that we are receiving from Delaware as the perfect venue to make our business possible,” said Ambassador Bulnes.
Chile harvests its fruit between late November and April, fulfilling demand for certain fruit in North America’s off season. Gov. Markell says Chilean fruit is one of the most important products coming into the Port of Wilmington.
“It provides a delicious fresh product at a time where we don’t necessarily get it from our own country. It’s great for the growers in Chile and it’s fantastic for the Port of Wilmington.”
“We said that we are planning to start a tradition this day, which is to come to Wilmington on a yearly basis to start the season of the Chilean fresh fruit and to celebrate that,” said Ambassador Bulnes.
This is the third consecutive season the port has received the first ship of the season. According to the state, the partnership with Chile generates more than 750 jobs and $4 million in tax revenue for the state and the region.
Over the summer, Gov. Markell took a week-long trip to Chile, where he signed the deal to keep Chilean fruit coming to the Port of Wilmington through the summer of 2014.