In Portugal, blueberry production has been underway, in limited volumes, for several weeks. "We work closely with our partner Logofruits there, as they have two cultivation sites. One of 90 hectares in the southern region of Odemira and a second 70-hectare one just south of Lisbon. Volumes are gradually increasing, and the prospects look great. The plants are uniform, and their quality, size, and flavor all look very promising," says Harro van Dam of Carsol Europe.
"Last year's regional lockdown made it hard to organize harvesting; we couldn't get workers to one of the farms. In anticipation of that, we now have 180 rooms for the pickers. We'll also be doing mechanical harvesting tests this season. Plus, we've invested in cooling facilities to guarantee better quality. Later this year, we'll be installing a sorting and packing line too."
"Based on successful trials done in 2021, year-round harvesting should be possible in Portugal for the first time this year. The blueberries are of surprisingly good quality. And our different European customers now have the chance to buy a more local alternative than produce from the Southern Hemisphere," Harro concludes.