The first container of Peruvian blueberries (11.7 tons of the Ventura variety) arrived at the port of Keelung, Taiwan on the 30th of October. After customs clearance, the fruits are expected to be available on the local market shortly. With a special permit, Hortifrut thus becomes the first company to ship fresh blueberries to Taiwan. The company’s Asia Platform Export Manager Mr. Lucas Rosello shared with us his insights and expectations.
Special permit for the current season
The Peruvian government has been negotiating the protocol to export fresh blueberries to Taiwan for quite some time. Though due to Covid-19 the Taiwanese authorities couldn´t come to the fields in Peru for final approval, the good thing is that authorities from both sides have spent lots of effort to move things forwards. As an alternative result, a few Peruvian suppliers were granted a special permit for this season.
Lucas told us that the special permit is only valid for this season. The industry expects that after the pandemic, when authorities are able to fly to Peru to confirm everything is in order, the Peruvian blueberry will receive full protocol approval for the following seasons.
“We are very grateful for the work done by both Peruvian and Taiwanese authorities in the middle of the global pandemic, without their efforts, this occasion could not have happened. Though Hortifrut has the honor to deliver the first container to Taiwan, I definitely hope that more companies can start their shipments, so that together we can grow the Taiwanese market and raise blueberry consumption.”
Complement rather than competition
Taiwan is a market with more than 23 million potential consumers. “At the moment, the blueberries in the Taiwanese market mainly come from Chile and the US. In total, they can be present in the market for 7-8 months of the year, but during the other 4-5 months, American blueberries can hardly be found. Now with Peruvian fruits available, they can be a perfect complement to cover this gap, rather than a competitor for fruits from other regions. This also allows us a chance to provide blueberries (from different regions) to local consumers all-year-round.” Lucas said.
Hortifrut has exported 2 containers so far, and the plan is to export 5 containers in total this season. “This is a realistic number, and if the market responds well, next season we will increase the volume for sure. The first batch of fruit that arrived already will be sold via retail, wholesale, and e-commerce platforms. What I expect from the market is for Taiwanese consumers to get to know Peruvian products, and see Peruvian fruits as a fantastic alternative for the fruit available in the market during this time of the year.”
Hortifrut in Taiwan
Hortifrut has been active in Taiwan for 15 years. Together with their partner Naturipe, the company has a 30% market share on berries. “With this fantastic effort from the Peruvian and Taiwanese authorities, we´re hoping to increase this number.” Lucas said.
Lucas Rosello （Horifrut Asia Platform Export Manager）