An alliance between Puro Chile store, the Chilean Government and “Fundación Artesanías de Chile”, a Foundation chaired by the Chile’s First Lady Cecilia Morel de Piñera promoting Chilean traditions, introduces new artisanal products at New York’s only Chilean brand store Thursday, June 6th 2012.
The First Lady celebrated this new showcase for Chilean small-sized entrepreneurs and craftsmen, stating,“Promoting entrepreneurship has been one of the goals of the Chilean Government. I am very pleased to see our high-end products in this unique retail space, which allows Americans to become more familiar with Chile. From this day on, part of our flavors and of our traditions will be here, thanks to the work and talent of small-sized entrepreneurs and of our craftsmen.”
The First Lady viewed the alliance as part of the framework of the President Sebastián Piñera’s government support to small entrepreneurs. The incorporation of these new Chilean products resulted from a contest organized by the Technical Cooperation Service (SERCOTEC in Spanish), an agency reporting to the Ministry of Economy which supports competitiveness and management by micro and small-sized entrepreneurs. One hundred people applied and 15 micro-entrepreneurs producers of lemon marmalade, mango, physalis and copao jams, infusions, seasonings, honeys, vinegars, salts and lamb and wild boar meat were selected. For six months, these products will be sold at the only Chilean brand showcase in New York Puro Chile de Nueva York which has entered into a cooperation agreement with Sercotec.
Additionally, as a result of arrangements made by the First Lady and the former Economy Minister Mr. Pablo Longueira,“Fundación Artesanías de Chile” will be present at the store during the above 6-month period, benefitting vulnerable craftsmen who keep alive traditional Chilean trades. The Foundation’s presence will promote awareness of the manufacturing of traditional Mapuche jewelry, Aymara alpaca shawls and ensure absolute certainty that all items are unique and 100% hand-manufactured by a craftsman in Chile. The proceeds of the sales shall be directly allocated to vulnerable Chilean craftsmen.
The official launch will be attended by the First Lady Cecilia Morel Montes, SERCOTEC National Director José Luis Uriarte, the Executive Director of Fundación Artesanías de Chile Dalia Haymann, and three of the selected entrepreneurs. The inauguration is the centerpiece of the SERCOTEC program “Introduction to US Market of Micro and Small-Sized Chilean entrepreneurs”, which promotes artisans at an international level. The support includes validation of products according to the US gourmet market regulations, translation of labels, assistance in redesigning and adapting the nutritional information format, and advisory services for the export and import of products to/from the American market. Winners were also offered comprehensive trading services, including promotion at the Puro Chile website.
Applicants placing first, second and third in the contest; Alejandro Chaparro, an entrepreneur from Pichilemu producing salt with merken, onion and savoury herbs, produced by an association of 90% of Chilean sea salt producers; María Elizabeth Bruner, who sells Ulmo honey from Valdivia; and Claudia Soto, a micro-entrepreneur from Villa Alemana producing a seasoning mixing cochayuyo (an edible seaweed), dehydrated celery, vira vira and “cacho de cabra” hot pepper - were awarded air tickets to New York to attend the event.
“This unprecedented contest afforded three micro-entrepreneurs the opportunity to show to the world the excellent quality of their products and facilitate the creation of new networks for the winners, a hallmark of President Sebastian Piñera’s administration- strong support for the work of micro and small-sized Chilean entrepreneurs,” concluded SERCOTEC National Director Mr. José Luis Uriarte.