Peru is the world's leading exporter of blueberries, and this industry continues to grow in the country, as demonstrated by the latest forecasts made by the Association of Blueberry Producers of Peru (Proarándanos). Luis Miguel Vegas, the general manager of Proarandanos, estimated the volume of organic blueberry exports during this 2021-2022 campaign would double the volume exported in the 2020-2021 campaign.
“According to our calculations, nearly 5% of the blueberries exported last season were organic. We estimate the total volume of blueberry exports will increase by 30% this campaign, 7% of which would be organic. This means that the volume of organic blueberries in this campaign is going to double and that their participation is growing more and more,” he said.
Total blueberry shipments are projected to total more than 200,000 tons and organic volumes to reach 14,000-15,000 tons, up from 7,500 tons last season.
It should be noted that the Association of Exporters (ADEX) has projected organic blueberry exports will increase by 220%. However, the volumes registered by ADEX for these shipments in the previous season stand at 4,000 tons. With the estimated growth rate, the country would export a volume of 12,800 tons. Luis Miguel Vegas stated that the export items do not distinguish between organic and conventional blueberries, which makes it difficult to have a reliable record. The only way of having reliable records is to gather the information company by company, he added.
The growth in blueberry exports (conventional and organic) is due to the increase in the cultivated area -2,500 hectares have been added to the 13,000 hectares that already existed- and to an increase in productivity. In addition, demand for blueberries is increasing as people become more aware of this fruit's antioxidant properties, stated Proarandanos.
Peru's blueberry harvest began in May and will conclude in March 2022. The largest volumes are harvested between August and December of each year.