Mexico: No market for Michocan blackberry

According to the President of the Blackberry Product System, Jose Jesus Garcia Contreras, blackberry producers had losses of about 70 million pesos during their crops' last process due to overproduction of this fruit, which was generated as a result of the low foreign demand.

Garcia Contreras said in an interview by Quadratín that the rainy season had not been very favorable for this sector because, as a result, the US had been able to produce large volumes of blackberry, a fact that forced the sector to cheapen its product, which led to a total overproduction of two thousand hectares, which is equivalent to one million cases.

"It's not convenient for us to export more fruit this season, we still have much fruit in the orchards but it is not being exploited, we are left with production because we only sell to the foreign markets," he said.

According to Garcia Contreras, Mexico is not a large market for this product. Consumption of this fruit is usually very low as producers export 90% of the 22 million boxes they produce per year. The fruit is destined for the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and, on occasion, to the Netherlands. 5 percent of the production is allocated for domestic consumption and the rest is processed.

"What can't be channelled is frozen or used for making jams, so we are paid very low prices, we need to begin to transform the fruit ourselves to take advantage of it," he added.

He said that one of the measures to be undertaken is to cut this fruit, in an effort to prevent the generation of pests, as they lack a market or industry where they could channel this surplus. However, the producer said, one of the factors that has influenced Mexico's low blackberry consumption is the low diffusion of this fruit's benefits and how beneficial its antioxidants can be for the population.

He said another major necessity of this sector was opening up the domestic market, so that they can channel the surplus fruit to the major cities of the Republic. "We need to open this market and the mobility in it, we hope SAGARPA will support us to do this, we hope that once the elections are over we'll be able to perform one of these," he said.

Regarding exports to China, the President of the Product System indicated that, although said processes started in January, sending fruit to that area hadn't been feasible due to the long distances that affect the product's quality, which, he added, is very perishable and needs much care.

"There still are many details that need to be controlled, the fruit does not arrive in good condition, we'll keep trying, but we will correct details such as the drosophila Fly, a plague that marks us as undesirable," he said.

Source: Quadratín Agency, image

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