The export estimate for the upcoming blueberry season has just been finalised: BerriesZA, the South African berry organisation, expects to export 25,000 tonnes of blueberries this year, says Elzette Schutte, manager of BerriesZA, while total production will be approximately 36,000 tonnes.
Right: large-scale blueberry expansion is bearing fruit
In the north of South Africa blueberries are beginning to flower. Late summer rains have much improved the water situation.
The earliest South African blueberries will be harvested by the end of this month, with the peak of the season from Limpopo and Mpumalanga by the start of August.
The temperatures at the moment are warm for this time of year, which could move the start slightly earlier, as happened last year.
“Everything is set up for a promising season in terms of production,” a Limpopo blueberry grower notes. “There's a slight increase in pest pressure but nothing that's proving too challenging at the moment.”
During the 2020/21 season, blueberry exports increased by 3,500 tonnes to 15,800 tonnes.
The European Union has overtaken the United Kingdom as the largest recipient of South African blueberries, but the share taken by countries like Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia and Singapore increases every year.