Argentina's blueberry harvest is starting and producers in the Salto Grande region have good expectations about the harvest for export that begins in a few days.
"Being able to access the Chinese market opens the possibility of showcasing our fruit throughout the entire campaign. It will be very difficult because of the tremendous tax burden we have, such as withholdings, the withdrawal of reimbursements, the gross income tax that impacts the entire chain, provincial and municipal taxes that impact the electricity tariff, and not having the VAT immediately available to compensate the payment of other taxes. This impacts the competitiveness that we lack and generates uncertainty to know if we are going to be able to take advantage of the benefits of the markets that we've opened and that we're still working on, as well as the infrastructure improvements that were made these years," Alejandro Pannunzio, the president of the Association of Blueberry Producers of Argentina's Mesopotamia (APAMA) and vice president of Argentina's Blueberries Committee (ABC), stated.
Regarding this year's estimated production, the producer said that the number of hectares in production was similar to that of the previous campaign and that they expected to be able to harvest all the production, which they expect will be good.
Incorporation of new markets
The opening of China and Thailand were milestones that the sector capitalized in the last year. Regarding this, Pannunzio said that the sector hopes to reach free trade agreements to compete on equal terms with countries such as Chile and Peru which do have this kind of agreement.
Internal Market Growth
"The internal market continues to develop. This growth is very important for our activity, not only to place a good part of our fruit but also because of the enormous health benefits generated by blueberry consumption. Fortunately, many prefer them for their flavor, many for their nutraceutical properties, and basically all children love them," he said.