BioTropic has taken delivery of kiwi fruit from Chile

The season for Chilean kiwi fruit has begun. In mid-June we took delivery of our first consignment of kiwi fruit from Chile in South America. Our specialist buyer from our Holland office, Joep van Koevorden, has already inspected the goods and his satisfied response was, "They are very good quality".

The kiwis are grown on San Roque Farms owned by Ignacio Lopez Olalde, located in the fertile Región del Bío-Bío in central Chile. The favourable climatic conditions also ensure that the area is considered to be Chile’s largest wine-growing area.

The San Roque Farm has been owned by the family since 1979. The first organic kiwi fruit were planted, grown and exported in the mid-1980s – at that time still by Ignacio’s father. Today the kiwi plantation covers about 13 hectares and Ignacio also grows green asparagus as well as blueberries and raspberries – all of which are organic. He produces his own compost; each year he generates more than 500 tons of valuable compost as a waste product. This is why he keeps his own cows on the farm.

The kiwi fruit he grows on the San Roque Farm is of the Hayward variety – they are large aromatic fruit. This is also the reason why they have become the most important variety in the global kiwi trade. The Hayward is dioecious, which means that there are male as well as female plants. The male plants provide the pollen for the necessary pollination.

Originally the wild kiwi plant came from China. Over a hundred years ago some seeds were taken to New Zealand, where the kiwi was grown in its present cultivated form. In addition to Italy, New Zealand is regarded as the main producer country of the exotic fruit. In the meantime it is however also grown in other countries with sub-tropical or temperate climates and that is the reason of course, why it is also grown in Chile. Organic kiwi fruit are only imported from overseas if the European crops of kiwi fruit are out of season, that is, from about mid-May to November.

In any case the fruit, which is about the size of an egg, is a vitamin bomb and apart from this it is rich in mineral nutrients such as iron and magnesium.

In November Joep van Koevorden and Ronald Vianen will be flying to Chile again to visit Ignacio’s San Roque Farm.

Text: Visnja Malesic
Pictures: BioTropic GmbH
Status: June 2015

Tags: Chile (GB), Joep van Koevorden (GB), Kiwifruits (GB), Ronald Vianen (GB), San Roque Farms (GB)

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