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Ben Goodchild - Nationwide Produce

“South Africa is currently filling the gap in the blueberry supply"

The blueberry market is currently led by Peru in this period of supply to the UK soft fruit industry, however, due to poor weather conditions in Peru over the growing and harvest period, exports have been down between 40-60%. This development has enabled South Africa to firmly establish a presence in the industry.

“South Africa is currently filling the gap in the blueberry supply,” said Ben Goodchild from Nationwide Produce. “The price for South African fruit is on par with that from Peru as the supply is short and in demand.”

Ben said that if South Africa can get the port situation sorted out then South African sea freighted blueberries are a viable option for UK buyers.

“The big question is, will Peru bounce back to being the dominant force next season or will countries like South Africa hold on to this momentum and keep hold of the customer base that came to them this year in desperate need of help when other options were not available.”

The two countries differ on varieties, Peru has well-established varieties and plants while South Africa is new to the game with newer varieties with great flavour.

The higher prices do not seem to be affecting demand, according to Ben. “Demand for soft fruit tends to fall in the first ten days of December as shoppers are thinking about Christmas expenditure. On the other hand, wholesale demand remains good with Christmas parties, functions and higher footfall in independent grocers and farm shops.”

For more information:
Ben Goodchild
Nationwide Produce
Tel: +44 (0)1386 424800
Email: ben@nationwideproduce.com
www.nationwideproduce.com