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Late in January, the Chilean Fresh Fruit Association again will be taking a group of North American retailers on an educational tour of Chile's fresh produce industry.

"We have found that the more retailers know about the care, handling, traceability, the GAP programs, the USDA inspections and the modern port -- all of the factors that go into production, harvesting and distribution of fruit - - the better off we are," said Tom Tjerandsen, managing director of North America for the Sonoma, CA-based Chilean fruit promotion group.

"We encourage retailers to let us know if they are interested" in participating in such a tour.