Uruguay blueberry region expected to produce 800 tons in 2010-11
Blueberry production in Uruguay’s northern Salto region could more than double to 800 metric tons, Juan José Crotto, a principal at exporter Nuevo Manantial S.A., told local news website Diario El Pueblo de Salto.
In an overview of the industry, Crotto told the website that production in other areas of Uruguay is slowing down quickly. Most production is geared toward export, he said, and the United States is the main target market because it pays the most for the berries. Europe is the second-biggest market, he said, according to the website.
Marketing for Uruguayan blueberries is uncertain, Crotto said, because it is not clear whether more marketing will lead to more blueberry sales, “or whether we’re still in the throes of the international crisis” and “certain luxury products find a certain resistance from buyers to paying high prices.”
He said some blueberry operations in the Concordia region have been abandoned, but that he is still optimistic about the fruit’s potential. “I continue to believe that there is a market, and we have to sharpen some things in order to be more profitable,” Crotto is quoted as saying.
Uruguay began growing blueberries in 2001, and most fields were planted between 2005 and 2007, according to the Interamerican Institute for Agricultural Cooperation. (IICA) The country began exporting in large amounts in 2007, and the United States was the principal market, according to the IICA.