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Quebec blueberry growers baffled by "inexplicable" rock bottom prices

The price of blueberries was so low in Quebec this year that some farmers didn't even bother to harvest their fields, and that has some producers confused — and concerned.

"It's impossible for us to sell blueberries at a lower cost than we do," said Denis Picard, president of the Quebec union of small fruit producers.

"We're no longer able to turn the wheel."

The price per pound went down, but not the price at the supermarket, Picard added. Producers who were accustomed to receiving 60 to 80 cents per pound of blueberries had to settle for a meagre 20 cents this summer.

According to Denis Picard, there is no proper explanation for this decline.

"Last year, we had an overabundance [of blueberries], but this year, it was normal. There has even been a decline due to drought. It's difficult to understand why prices are so low," Picard said.

For Picard, it's important to rethink the industry's strategy when it comes to its marketing process.

"It's always the same thing in life, trials always bring us a little further. I feel we will have to rethink our way of doing things," he said.

He added, however, that the industry cannot pick itself up without knowing why the price per pound is so low, while the consumer price remained stable.

"If we do not take control, if we let ourselves be taken in hand by players who give us that price, surely that is the end."

Source: cbc.ca

Publication date: 10/11/2017


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