High level conferences at 12th edition of Blueberries consulting seminars

"Spain must face challenges of growing blueberry sector"

The sustained growth in the supply and the global expansion in the acreage devoted to blueberries have resulted in greater competition. Consequently, the training of those engaged in the fruit's cultivation has become a key factor. After all, it is also a sector which relies on the handling of extremely precise processes, with many challenges along the way.

With this in mind, Blueberries Consulting organized the thirteenth edition of the international seminars on 30 October. With this, the organization strives to provide knowledge and specialized information to those involved in the cultivation and marketing of blueberries, as well as to those interested in the sector. Blueberries Consulting believes that it must be possible for everyone in the sector to continue growing together.

Main cultivation and consumption areas
For many, blueberries are currently a hot product. This applies both to consumption and to the launch of new growing areas. The production concentrates mostly in North America, South America, Asia, Europe and Morocco, with a global distribution of 47%, 23%, 16%, 12% and 2%, respectively.

According to the US Department of Agriculture, there was a 5% drop in revenue in the US last year compared to the previous season. In the southern hemisphere, Chile is still at the top. Last season, exports amounted to more than 110,000 tons, according to data from the Cooperative of Fruit Exporters in Chile. In Peru, the volume exceeded 48,000 tons in the same season. For the 2018-2019 campaign, 75,000 tonnes are expected in this country, based on estimations of Proarándanos.

When it comes to acreage devoted to blueberry cultivation, the US, China, Chile and Canada remain at the top. New projects are mainly planned in growing areas in China, Peru, Mexico, Spain, Morocco and South Africa.

The main consumption areas are North America, Europe and Asia, with a global percentage distribution of 70%, 22% and 8%, respectively. According to data from specialists, a 25% growth is being achieved in practically all of Europe. What is most striking is that when blueberries are available, the demand is also very high. The sustained growth of consumption in Europe has sparked the sector's optimism. In fact, the crop's cultivation continues to expand across the continent. South Africa has emerged as a major player on the market, while Mexico, Morocco and Argentina are preparing to compete with the introduction of technology and the signing of bilateral agreements. The eyes of all these countries have been set on Asia and Europe, which are considered the most attractive export destinations for the fruit.

"Spain has the responsibility to meet the challenges of the growing blueberry sector"
Spain is the most important blueberry producer in Europe, with approximately 37% of the total volume, followed by Poland (20%), Germany (13%), Portugal (5%) and Italy (4.5%). Cultivation in Spain starts at the end of winter in Andalusia, where the peak is reached in the spring months, and then continues in the summer months in Galicia, Cantabria and Asturias. Having both a spring and a summer supply gives the country an advantage on the market.

Spain is the leader in Europe when it comes to the spring supply and is the sixth largest supplier in the world. "This global position gives the country the responsibility to meet the new challenges that the sector's sustained growth will bring with it, both in terms of technical challenges (the increase in the quality of the fruit and the efficiency of the processes), as well as commercially (the oversupply and the re-adjustment of the marketing standards)," says a representative of Blueberries Consulting.

The organization says that they are committed to "identifying needs in order to collaborate in the finding of solutions to those problems and to contribute to the development of the global blueberry sector."

Presentations with a high scientific level
The first seminar took place in Madrid, bringing together a great number of participants from countries such as the United Kingdom, Turkey, Morocco, Poland, the Netherlands, Portugal, France, Spain, Chile and Peru, who met at Hotel Meliá Avenida América. There were also representatives from agencies such as the Embassy of New Zealand in Spain, the Regional Service for Agrifood Research and Development (SERIDA) and several universities from Madrid, as well as researchers, growers, exporters, students and representatives of companies devoted to technology and the sale of agricultural supplies.

The participants showed great interest in the topics addressed by the speakers and on the issues raised during the event. Leading researchers and experts from the US, Chile, Germany, Belgium, Peru and Spain shared their knowledge and experience. They provided new and updated information about the opportunities and challenges on the market, and discussed genetics, irrigation, hydroponics, plant nutrition, biostimulants and growth regulators. The seminar provided opportunities for interaction and problem solving with the attendees, who saw the need to further improve their expertise in order to remain competitive on the international markets.

Blueberries Consulting would like to thank all those present for their participation and their recognition and appreciation for the quality of the seminars and the topics covered.

 

For more information: contacto@blueberriesconsulting.com 


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