In an interview with ChileCarne, Nury Disegni Gili, Commercial and Agricultural Attaché at the ProChile office in Tokyo, discussed the main challenges Chile faces in exporting products to Japan, highlighting the importance of importer loyalty and the promotion of quality attributes. In her opinion, the prospects and opportunities for the Chilean white meat market are optimistic, given the entry into force of the CPTPP and Chile’s sustainability efforts.

– What are the main challenges Chile faces today in exporting products to Japan?

Japan is one of the most important markets for Chile’s international trade. It is the third largest destination for our non-copper exports and one of the most important Asian countries in terms of market demand. Currently, one of the essential challenges we have as a country is to build loyalty among our importers, highlighting the quality, safety, and security of Chilean products. In order to successfully promote Chile to consumers, we also need campaigns that are aligned with the national strategy. ProChile supports this, working every day to promote a national image that highlights our attributes and other elements that allow us to showcase the high added value of our exports.


One new opportunity is to improve entry mechanisms for products that have benefited from the entry into force of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) in February, an agreement that provides important opportunities for Chile and its products thanks to preferential tariffs.


– What strategies are being implemented to promote Chilean products in Japan?


One of the strategies we are promoting in Japan is to highlight the attributes that we use to increase the added value of Chilean exports to Japan. These include sustainability and niche and premium products, which not only allow us to expand our export offer, but also improve our positioning.


Post-pandemic, we have largely resumed in-person events, allowing us to meet face-to-face with our main customers, getting to know their demands, requirements, and quality standards. In addition, we have increased our presence on e-commerce channels, thus amplifying our positioning.


 – Have there been any trends or changes in the Japanese market in recent years regarding imported products?


Japan is a market that is constantly evolving, adapting to changing standards and demands. So, among the new trends we have seen, we find that Japanese importers and consumers have increased their interest in products with higher added value, as well as niche products, which are specialized and tailored to the consumer.


– Regarding white meats in particular, what support does the Chilean Commercial-Agricultural Office in Japan provides to Chilean exporters?


We have two clear objectives: On the one hand, we focus on keeping markets open and modernizing health protocols, and on the other hand, as a trade office we focus on facilitating and promoting trade in agrifood products, fishing products, and other products and services from different sectors of the economy, such as creative industries, among others.


In general terms, the specific protocols we are currently working on are livestock zoning (poultry and pigs) and modernizing the sanitary protocol for even-toed ungulates.


As for the commercial office, we support agricultural products through export promotion campaigns to improve relations with Japanese consumers, while at the same time finding new allies to improve our market position.


– What is the outlook for Chilean white meat exports to Japan and what opportunities do you foresee in the market?


Our office is optimistic about the prospects for Chilean white meats. On the one hand, the entry into force of the CPTPP allows us to level the playing field with our main competitors in the Japanese market and, once the negotiations on health protocols are completed, we will have better guarantees for both Chilean producers and Japanese consumers.


On the other hand, the Ministry of Agriculture has a program called Chile Conscious Origin, which is led by the Office of Agricultural Research and Policy (ODEPA) with the participation of the pork, poultry, and dairy subsectors, and funded by the Chilean Economic Development Agency, CORFO. This type of program promotes sustainability with the aim of enhancing Chile’s reputation. We believe it will allow us to offer greater added value to products entering Japan.