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New website with weekly crop udpates
"Chilean blueberries have growth potential in every market"
In terms of volume, he affirms that last year exports reached 92,000 tonnes and current estimations point to these amounting to almost 100,000 tonnes this year (+6-8%). The acreage, which stands at around 16,000 hectares, has not increased significantly, as “There has been more variety renewal than acreage growth, since we are introducing new and better varieties every year,” explains Mr Armstrong. “The big challenge that remains is to find the necessary labour to harvest the crops, since there is still no suitable machinery for fruit intended for fresh consumption.”
Andrés Armstrong at the PMA.
North America main destination
When it comes to markets, North America (the U.S. and Canada) remains the largest destination for Chilean blueberries. Mr Armstrong assures that “Last season, North America accounted for 67% of our total exports in terms of volume, while Asia represented 10% and Europe 23%.” In any case, “Over the last six years we have registered the most rapid growth in Asia; at the moment there is a lot of work to do in China and Korea, and in Europe we are starting promotions in France for the first time.”
As far as future growth is concerned, Mr Armstrong believes there is still sufficient potential in almost every market. “Production in the U.S., the largest market in terms of consumption, is growing by 10% every year. Also, countries which didn’t know much about blueberries before are now learning about their healthy properties.”
All in all, Chile is in an advantageous position in terms of climate and soil, and Mr Armstrong stresses that the country has plenty more to offer besides blueberries. “We have a wide range of products to offer to our customers and we are also the biggest player during the southern hemisphere season,” which should ensure a bright future for Chilean fruit exporters.
The Chilean Blueberry Committee launched a new website: www.chileanblueberrycommittee.com. Here you can find week on week updates on the crop and other info.
For more information:
Chilean Blueberry Committee
Tel: +56 224 724 783
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