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Argentina Launches 2017 Blueberry Campaign
The Argentine Blueberry Committee (ABC) announced yesterday the start of the 2017 campaign, aimed at obtaining an earlier production with higher yields, better quality and improved post-harvest shelf life. "Thanks to the production experience of our country, we have a differential which is being able to adapt to the needs of a volatile market, investing more in technology and aiming at the varietal replacement," said Federico Bayá, President of ABC.
According to sector estimates, exports of fresh blueberry could reach 18,000 tons, which represents a 5% increase over 2016, and plans to export 63% of production to the United States & Canada, 21% to England and 16% distributed between continental Europe and other destinations. "While we managed to maintain the production trend of the last years, the current focus is on improving the quality and diversifying the markets, guaranteeing the acidified flavor that distinguishes our fruit," said ABC.
They also highlighted the good agro-climatic conditions so far: "We had a smooth and mild winter that did not cause frost loss," they said.
As part of a campaign aimed at repositioning the foreign market and improving competitiveness, Federico Bayá explained: "we are betting on the varietal replacement because we believe that we will be able to plateau the production curve, advancing the harvest peak that historically is in the weeks 45 and 46 to weeks 42-43 ".
The 2017 campaign also emphasized the complete improvement of field work at all levels, which involved a detailed follow-up of pruning, harvesting and post-harvest. "Working on post-harvesting will allow us to reach a fruit quality characterized by a different flavor" emphasized Bayá. Following this line is that the external promotion campaign will focus on the slogan "Taste the difference".
Regarding transport and logistics, Federico Bayá explained "we are looking for a higher percentage of maritime shipments, which will allow us to reduce costs and greater planning." He added: "we will continue to send a percentage by air which makes the fruit reach its destination in a few days, supplying the markets with fresh fruit and conserving freshness and taste."
Likewise, blueberry producers seek to boost local consumption of the fruit. "We set ourselves the medium-term challenge of developing the domestic market by offering an export product adapted to the demands of local consumers who demand high quality at affordable prices," said ABC members, who launched the local campaign "Better with Blueberries ".
"We are aware that last year was complicated and we were working indoors to be more efficient," explained the President of ABC. "We had a very good articulated work with the Government that became evident in key improvements in airport infrastructure, boosting exports. We expect tax and labor reforms to be developed that would help to achieve greater competitiveness, "he concluded.
The ABC is a civil association that brings together producers, exporters and regional chambers of Argentinean blueberries. It brings together the regional industry, which are the Association of Producers of Mesopotamia (Apama), the Argentina Chamber of Producers of Blueberries and other Berries (CAPAB), and the Association of Producers of Blueberries from Tucuman (APRATUC).
Attached link to sector statistics:
Publication date: 9/14/2017
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