Governor Corbett, Chilean Minister of Agriculture Mark Growing Importance of Chilean Fruit to Port of Philadelphia
Event at Packer Avenue Marine Terminal also featured donation of fruit to Philabundance
PHILADELPHIA (May 14, 2013) – Underscoring the importance of his recent trade mission to South America, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett, the Chilean Agricultural Minister Luis Mayol Bouchon and senior Chilean agricultural officials today met at the Packer Avenue Marine Terminal in South Philadelphia to observe the unloading of the Bahia Castillo, a refrigerated cargo ship carrying thousands of tons of fresh Chilean fruit to the United States and Canada through the Port of Philadelphia gateway.
As part of the event, approximately 10,000 pounds of Chilean fruit was donated to Philabundance, the region’s largest hunger relief organization, which loaded the fruit for immediate shipment to its local distribution center. This donation will help Philabundance provide much-needed produce to hundreds of families in need in the Delaware Valley. Chilean exporters and Holt Logistics have donated more than three million pounds of Chilean fruit to Philabundance and its national partner organization, Feeding America, during the most recent growing season.
“On behalf of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, I would like to extend my sincere thanks to the Chilean Minister of Agriculture for joining me here today,” said Governor Corbett. “Our growing trade partnership with Chile provides Pennsylvanians and people throughout the region with year-round access to affordable fresh fruit.
“The opportunities for expanded trade with Chile and other Central and South American countries will continue to deliver outstanding products, generate significant numbers of good jobs throughout the region, and continue the growing momentum of the Port of Philadelphia as an economic gateway to a significant portion of American population.”
Today’s shipment underscores Governor Corbett’s Commonwealth Jobs Trade Mission, which focused on working with trade partners to increase employment opportunities for Pennsylvania residents in areas of logistics, distribution, healthcare, education and energy. Chile counts the United States as one its largest strategic trading partners in the western hemisphere and has a long-standing Free Trade Agreement with the United States.
“The Chilean fruit trade is vital to the Port of Philadelphia,” said Leo A. Holt, on behalf of Greenwich Terminals, Inc., which operates the Packer Marine Terminal under a lease with the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority (PRPA). “The Governor’s recent trade mission lays the foundation for expanding our partnerships with countries throughout Central and South America, which means that we will have the chance to import more fruit and other commodities that strengthen the region’s economy in the process.”
Joining Governor Corbett and Minister Mayol at the event, in addition to Holt, were Gustavo Rojas, National Director, Office of Studies and Agricultural Policy (ODEPA); Benjamin Leavenworth, Consulate of Chile in Philadelphia; Anibal Ariztia, National Director,
Agricultural and Livestock Service (SAG); Fernando Astaburuaga, International Affairs Coordinator, Office of Studies and Agricultural Policy (ODEPA); Jose Pedro Arana, Press Officer, Minister’s Cabinet; Ronald Bown, Chairman, Chilean Association of Fruit Exporters (ASOEX); Joaquin Tagle, Agricultural Attaché, Embassy of Chile; and Pedro Bejares, Agricultural Specialist, Agricultural Office. The parties were joined by Charles Kopp, Chairman of the PRPA, and other Port and regional officials.
Pennsylvania and Chile have a shared history of interchange and understanding. The Ports of the Delaware River are the largest nexus of arrival for fresh Chilean fruit in the world including excellent and nutritious commodities such as grapes, apples, pears, peaches, plums, nectarines and apricots as well as summer citrus products. Additionally, the largest international chamber of commerce of its kind, the Chilean American Chamber of Commerce, recently celebrated its 25th year in Philadelphia.
“The Republic of Chile is proud to work with our natural and longstanding trade partner in the United States,” said Joaquin Tagle, Agricultural Attaché to the Embassy of Chile. “The Delaware River Gateway has long been synonymous with excellent Chilean products-most visibly fresh fruit but with deep connections to our forest products, copper, seafood and world famous wine exports. Of the many millions of bottles of wine sold in Pennsylvania each year, 28 percent comes from Chile.”
Chile’s agricultural miracle has propelled it onto the world stage and for half a century has been an inspiration for development models. As its industry has diversified and matured, so has the Chilean economy and international outreach. With products including grain, forestry, meat protein, fish and fresh fruit, Chile stands at the front ranks of innovation, energy and dedication to excellence. Pennsylvania has dedicated increasing resources to the infrastructure that is required to continue this trajectory of growth, as the world has moved to more and more containerization of products, and as the Panama Canal expansion project nears completion, the Commonwealth has doubled down on transportation and been at the front of the fight to deepen the Delaware River.
About the Packer Avenue Marine Terminal
The Packer Avenue Marine Terminal, operated by Holt Logistics, is the largest of the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority’s cargo facilities. Equipped to handle both dry and refrigerated container cargo, the facility sits on 106 acres and has six vessel berths immediately below the Walt Whitman Bridge in South Philadelphia. The facility has on-site FDA, USDA and U.S. Customs services.
About Holt Logistics Corp.
Holt Logistics Corp. is a technology, marketing and corporate service organization. Holt Logistics Corp. provides transportation and logistics management solutions in dynamic segments of the transportation industry such as truck and rail transportation, marine terminal services, warehousing and logistics management. The philosophy of Holt Logistics Corp. and its client companies is to provide the safest, highest quality, and competitively priced cargo movement solutions for targeted market niches.