Despite the global crisis caused by the coronavirus, Mexico's berry industry maintains its growth projections in 2020 and continues its exports without variation, stated Jose Luis Bustamante Fernandez, the president of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Exporters of Berries (Aneberries), which this year will hold the tenth edition of its international congress online from July 27 to 31.
The industry currently has more than 47,000 hectares of crops in 22 states and it exports more than 400,000 tons each year, a figure that represents the entry of 2.453 billion dollars to the country, Bustamante said.
However, he said, 97.5% of exports are concentrated in the United States and Canada, so the challenge for the sector is to diversify into other markets, mainly in Asia and the Middle East. Bustamante also said that the main challenges to conquer these markets were logistics and commercial relationships.
"These exports must be sent by air, especially raspberry and blackberry, and the pandemic has interrupted intercontinental flights. This represents a logistical challenge, which is the first that we have to face, with charter flights. In addition, we have to find good business partners that will buy our product throughout the whole year, as making one shipment doesn't mean you've won the market," he added.
An example of this, he said, is the United States, which they have managed to maintain by sending berries 52 weeks a year to keep consumers captive. The national market, whose current value is estimated at 400 million dollars, also represents a great growth opportunity for the industry, he added.
According to the president of Aneberries, before the pandemic, they expected to achieve double-digit growth this year. Now, due to the health crisis, they have had to reduce their projection but still expect to grow by nearly 5% this year.