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Markell leads state delegation to Chile

Delaware Public Media

Gov. Jack Markell and other state officials are headed to Chile later this week to strengthen economic ties.

A lot of Chilean fruit comes to America through Delaware. In fact, over 18 million boxes pass through the state each year.

"The port of Wilmington is the largest port of entry of Chilean fruit in the United States," said Secretary of Agriculture Ed Kee.
He said the port has the advantage of being close to I-95, making it a natural hub.


Kee said Chilean fruit is a good fit for the region because it arrives at a time that doesn’t compete with First State farmers.


“While we’re in our winter season, it’s their summer season. So they can fill in a market void in the wintertime and not compete with our growers whatsoever," he said.

Secretary Kee is joining Gov. Markell and others in South America to meet with fruit exporters and shippers.  They’ll also meet with representatives of the Universidad Bernardo O’Higgins to discuss a potential future partnership with the University of Delaware.

Markell is slated to meet with Chile’s president and other lawmakers during his six day visit.

The trip, which administration officials say will cost about $30,000, is Markell’s first trade mission since his visit to Germany last September.


Kee left for Chile Monday, while Markell heads to South America this Friday. They return Oct. 5.

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