The “Blueberries from the South of Chile: Adapting to Changes” Seminar, organized by Corfo Los Lagos and the Asoex's Blueberry Committee was held on November 7. The Seminar was held as part of the closing of the “Dissemination of Organic and Sustainable Production Techniques for the Strengthening of the Emerging Organic Blueberry Export Industry of the Southern Zone of Chile” Project.
The seminar was attended by more than 80 people and included the participation of prominent exhibitors, specialists in issues related to the production, market and future challenges of this important industry in Chile, who exchanged opinions with producers in the southern part of the country, and representatives of the sector's export industry.
Julia Pinto, agronomist and Technical Manager of the Blueberry Committee, stressed that, at the event, they had presented the pillars of the Blueberry Committee's Quality System being promoted by the entity this season. She also stated that varietal replacement was key to the competitiveness of this industry in the destination markets.
The agronomist stressed that the American blueberry was the main fruit crop in the region of Los Lagos. According to the data of the last Fruit Cadastre prepared by Odepa/Ciren, which was released in 2019, there are 971 hectares of blueberries planted in the region of Los Lagos, i.e. 8.25% more than in 2016 (in the last cadastre). The Committee plans to export 115 tons of blueberries in the 2019-2020 season.
Ruy Barbosa, of Northbay Chile, stressed during his presentation at the event that Chile currently exports 89 varieties of blueberries, 11 of which account for 43% of shipments. He also stated that 3% of the varieties being exported shouldn't be exported because they affected the quality of delivery of the industry. In this sense, Barbosa said, it's necessary to discourage old varieties that no longer find a fresh market and promoting changing them for varieties that have a better response.
The professional stressed that Chile had 100 exporters and that it was the second-biggest producer of fresh blueberries in the world. Chilean organic blueberry sales have increased every year and sales of conventional and organic blueberries could increase more with promotions.
Barbosa stressed the need to work more closely on the promotion of Chilean blueberries in international markets, taking as an example the 5 million dollar campaign being carried out by the Asoex Cherry Committee in China.
Source: : simfruit.cl