Georgia’s expectations about extensive blueberries exports to the EU have not yet been justified, as Georgian berries cannot enter the European market. This year, the export of blueberries has grown from 175 to 650 tons in comparison with 2019, but 99% of the product has been exported to Russia.
Ioane Morchiladze, Director of LLC Efko company, explains why Georgian blueberries have failed to enter the European market. “Exports to Europe were carried out in small quantities and blueberry producers mainly work in the Russian market.”
Morchiladze states that gaining access to the European market is the main goal of all blueberry producers in Georgia as blueberries are in very high demand and very expensive there: “The entry into the European market requires a certificate, but this does not guarantee anything either - the EU has very strict regulations, and if at least one substance that does not meet standards is found in a product, the goods will be returned back.”
In his words, for this reason the Russian market is much profitable for Georgian producers.
Commersant.ge quoted him as saying: “Russia has fewer regulations and restrictions, simpler procedures, importers work on a prepayment basis so hitting the shelves takes much less time. Due to all these advantages, the Russian market is attractive for us.”