The blueberry industry in Peru is changing, which is generating a lot of expectation.
This is how Federico Beltrán, agricultural engineer and general manager of Terra Business (Peru) describes the situation; the current status of this berry in the Andean country, is one that went through a period of trial and error, and which is still learning.
During Fruittrade 2012, which took place between the 8th and 9th of October 2012 in Santiago (Chile), Beltran shared with Chilean and international entrepreneurs not only the present of the industry but also the prospects, challenges and opportunities that are to come.
He recently did the same in the Convention Aneberries in Mexico.
He said the industry is currently on a break point. "Recently Peru signed the UPOV (International Treaty for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants) and that will make a difference, especially in businesses like the blueberry," he said.
He stressed that the blueberry begins to play an important role in retaining labor in Peru. "Projects and expectations of blueberry operations in the Costa are based a lot in being the alternative to retain labor throughout the year and to take advantage of the distribution channels that already exist."
Along with this it is thought to be another important motivation for world class companies is to consider the berry as an option to leverage the investments they made in the past 10 years in process technologies.
While noting that in the blueberry business people can lose a lot of money, he believes there are solid options to think that Peru is a major player in the Southern Hemisphere.
"We are excited about the famous window in September/October, however what I find good in companies that are getting into this business is to know that the window can be addressed by other competitors, thereby the only option is to improve global competitiveness."
Beltran said that there isn´t much fear of what Argentina and Uruguay might continue doing." We do have much respect of what Chile can do," he said, noting the years of experience that the neighboring country has.
"We're learning," he told the audience.
He was also emphatic in stating that people in Peru are not betting on the blueberry to be a single product, but rather a complement to the portfolio of businesses that they handle and of which they already have a high position in the world market.