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Argentine blueberries represented at seventh edition of IBO Summit
Blueberry industry leaders from around the world gathered for their annual meeting at the 2017 IBO Summit of the International Blueberry Organization in Qujing City, Yunnan Province, southern China. Attendees participated in a broad agenda of talks and roundtables, with topics such as technology, the practice of access to the Chinese market, global trends and industrial cooperation between China and the rest of the world.
"The IBO Summit has grown significantly since its inauguration a few years ago and this is the seventh edition. That is why it is important that Argentina continues to participate in these meetings among the most important producers in the world," said Carlos Stabile who represented Argentina and the Argentine Blueberries Committee (ABC).
At the meeting they were part of a panel along with the blueberry industry referrals from Chile, Australia and Canada plus the Director of AQSIQ's Biosafety Division, Lou Junwen. The discussion was moderated by a well-known Shanghai fruit importer, Mr. Kurt Huang.
During his presentation, the ABC representative detailed the status of the negotiations to get "Market Access" into China. On this, he remarked that "Argentina formally requested that the import permit for blueberries be processed in 2012. From that date until 2015 there was a fluid exchange of information between the two governments, until at the end of 2015 we received the harvest visit of the AQSIQ inspectors. "
"Another information exchange followed, until in April 2017 AQSIQ sent the proposed text for the import protocol. In May of that same year, Argentina - through SENASA - responded quickly, requesting the inclusion of methyl bromide as a quarantine treatment to be able to export by air. From that date up to the present time no response has been received from the AQSIQ," explained Stabile.
Likewise, Stabile remarked that "there is a clear opportunity for both countries. On the one hand China is projected to produce 100,000 tons in a span of 4 years. Since this volume would be destined to its internal market, it is evident the enormous leap that will hit the consumer market. Considering that China's production season could go from March to September, with our offer we would arrive just in time to complement the that country's, and to supply to millions of consumers that would be without an available supply in the supermarkets. At the end of our season in December, the market would join with Chile's blueberries, and that would close the circle until the following year's local productions.
In this sense, blueberry producers in Argentina consider China "as the great market of the future", and for this reason continue to drive the entry of production in that market so that the "domestic industry continues to grow internationally."
"The big beneficiary of the market opening for Argentine blueberries will be the Chinese consumer. As supply increases, competition will increase and that ultimately will result in a higher quality product at a convenient price," said Stabile, who thanked "the effort made since the beginning of the Congress' organization" to enable Argentina to be present at the Summit.
Finally, the panel's moderator made mention of the competition of Argentina with Peru (a country that had already obtained the Market Access but was not present in the panel). In response to this question, Stabile explained that "The Argentine blueberry is characterized by being tastier and sweeter than the Peruvian, which in turn has other characteristics and that would be a great benefit for the Chinese consumer who can choose between blueberries with great flavor and sweetness and others not so much. "
Tel.: (+54) 114415-1378
Publication date: 9/22/2017
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