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Carlos Esteve, commercial director of Onubafruit:

"We are expanding the blueberry production in Huelva, adding value and offering a better service than that of overseas imports"

The first extra-early blueberry harvests started in Huelva in September, with limited quantities that will not increase until December. Onubafruit, which last year launched its own program of exclusive blueberry varieties to allow Huelva's production schedule "to gain ground" on imports from the southern hemisphere, is growing in terms of volume this year and expects it to triple next season.

"We started harvesting the first blueberries of our earliest variety, the Demba, in the third week of September. Right now, we are still working with very limited volumes and discontinuous harvests. More significant quantities will arrive from the end of November and then we will be able to provide a service without interruptions," said Carlos Esteve, commercial director of Onubafruit, "If everything goes according to plan, we will have Demba production until the beginning of March."

Some of the varieties in this Onubafruit program are the Selma, Dana, Aila and Lena. There are two more varieties that have yet to be given a name and reach commercial status. All of these are included in a harvesting calendar with good production volumes between January and the end of April. "This year we will already reach 3,000 tons; a figure we hope to triple in the next season," said Carlos Esteve. The goal of this program of exclusive blueberry varieties is to be able to produce at times when it was previously unfeasible in Huelva, with more consistent quantities in the future, as well as to improve the quality of what the market has on offer, both in terms of quality and size."  

"Even though we have already started planning the launch of varieties that will extend the Spanish season in the future in order to be able to produce for as long as possible, we see the greatest potential in the early part of the campaign, which is why we are betting on that now. In this period, we are competing with countries such as South Africa, Peru, Chile and Argentina. At the moment, Peru's production is at its peak, with volumes that are between 30 and 35% greater than at this time last season, so prices are already very competitive," said Onubafruit's commercial director.

"We believe that, with our early varieties, we will be able to add value to the current overseas supply, providing a fresher product that won't need to travel for more than 3 weeks, and which will stand out in terms of size and flavor while offering a more flexible service to European customers. It is important to remember that the global logistic situation is not yet showing signs of improvement, with freight rates at skyrocketing prices and uncertainty about the availability of ships and delivery times for the fruit coming from the southern hemisphere. We can provide a better service in all respects," said Carlos Esteve.

Onubafruit's fruit is mainly intended for European markets, although shipments are also occasionally made to Asian markets such as Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong. "We are looking into other possibilities, such as the recently opened markets of Brazil and Canada. In Canada, blueberries are produced rather late, as it has a cold climate, so we would compete mainly with Mexico and Peru. The Dollar-Euro exchange rates could also be an incentive for us to consider resorting to this commercial window for our blueberries."


For more information:
Onubafruit S.Coop.And.
T: +34 959 540 844 

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