As the blueberry harvest continues in Georgia, there are almost two weeks left until the end of the 2021 season. The season started a week later this year, but despite this, producers had positive expectations at the beginning.
However, as Russia is the main export market for Georgian blueberries, blueberry producers and exporters panicked this week as they heard that the Russian market may be closed for Georgian blueberries. Following this, National Food Agency of Georgia (NFA) has published an announcement saying plant produce exports to Russia will continue without any difficulties.
At the same time, NFA confirms that Russia has tightened regulations on imported plant produce, including fresh fruits and vegetables, and if necessary Rosselkhoznadzor is entitled to request additional documentation on pesticide use or conduct a laboratory test.
The official announcement does not seem to convince producers, as they have not experienced yet how new regulation works in practice. The last batches of blueberry arrived in Russia before the new regulation and the new ones have not crossed the border yet.
The uncertainty has already affected the local market. Large producers who were buying blueberries from smaller farmers either stopped buying or offering lower prices.