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Mexico will export berries to the Chinese market

The Chinese authorities will visit Mexico soon to inspect berry orchards and continue advancing in trade negotiations to begin imports.

The Mexican berry industry will be receiving the Chinese authorities later this month, when they will present them their crops in an attempt to access one of the fastest growing markets in the world of soft fruits.

Mario Andrade, Aneberries' president, said in a interview that officials would be in the country between February 24 and March 3 to assess the crops, refrigeration facilities, and assess the risks.

"If all goes as it has so far, the protocols to open the country will be signed in October, when President Enrique Peña Nieto visits China," he said during the Fruit Logistica in Berlin.

"At first it will be for blackberries. Our idea was to open the market for all the berries but the Chinese authorities told us it would be done one by one," he added.

If the doors open for the blackberries, raspberries would be next in line, followed by blueberries.

It's worth noting that Aneberries and the Mexican government have left the strawberries aside for the moment, due to the competition with Chinese producers.

"We know that strawberries have the highest yield strength in the market, but we have been told there could be more market for us in the other three berries: blackberries, raspberries and blueberries, in that order," Andrade said.

"China has a great biodiversity and the ability to grow more berries, but one of our strengths is the knowledge we have acquired over the years. That's the advantage we have over the Chinese, and it is quite large," he said.

He added that the Chinese could make another visit to Mexico before Peña Nieto's visit in October, and that the plan was to start exporting the fruit as soon as access was achieved.

"The idea would be to sign the agreement and to immediately prepare the containers and the aircraft with the first Mexican blackberries," he said.

Andrade believes that opening the market to the other berries will be very quick, once the protocol for the blackberries is signed, because the production systems and the cold chain are similar.

He added that Tokyo and Hong Kong were currently the main destinations in Asia for the Mexican berries.


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