It's only a short while longer until the Moroccan blueberry season gets going, says SunCrops Sales and Procurement manager German Perez: "Our blueberry season in Morocco has not yet commenced; it begins at the end of December. However, despite last year's challenges, we're actively preparing for a promising season. Lessons learned from previous seasons have better equipped us for this year, aiming for a more consistent production despite potential challenges."
These potential challenges for the season concern water most of all, but also logistics and packaging, Perez explains. "The big challenge ahead of any grower will be water management since blueberries require consistent and adequate water throughout their growing season. Managing water resources efficiently, especially in arid or semi-arid regions like Morocco, can pose a challenge. However, we can't forget about coordinating the logistics for transporting the blueberries from Agadir to Casablanca, as this process can be complex. We have to ensure a reliable and timely supply chain since this is crucial for maintaining the freshness and quality of the produce. Finally, access to packaging materials, specifically punnets and plastic containers, is constrained, making it challenging to procure diverse packaging options. Importing these materials into Morocco poses significant difficulties."
For SunCrops, the focus is on the European market, but the exporter will also set its eyes on new markets in Asia, Perez emphasizes: "Our fields in Agadir have not been affect by the weather so far, but we do anticipate varied weather conditions, that could affect yields later on in the season. However, our preparatory efforts include strategies to manage these weather variables and ensure stable production despite potential climate challenges. As we kick off our season, our primary focus remains on the European market. Nonetheless, our expansion strategy actively involves exploring new opportunities in emerging markets in Asia and the Middle East, considering their growth potential and market diversification. Through our market analysis and forecasts, we see a progressive demand at the season's outset due to increasing consumption trends for healthy products like blueberries."
Lower blueberry volumes in Peru could lead to new opportunities this season. "We will take advantage of the fact that Peru's volumes will be lower this season. We believe it can lead us to new opportunities like strengthened negotiation power, with reduced volumes from Peru, we will have a stronger negotiating position with buyers. We'll also be able to improve our market share by meeting the demand gap that Peru is leaving. We will strengthen our market leadership and share, with the idea of becoming a preferred choice for the buyers. As such, we are optimistic about the rest of the season. With careful planning and a proactive approach, we aim for a successful season with steady growth and an enhanced market presence," Perez concludes.