Fire strikes Argentine blueberry packhouse

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Fire strikes Argentine blueberry packhouse

An Argentine blueberry exporter is investigating what caused a fire that affected "almost the entirety" of one of its packhouses on Monday. At we spoke with Extraberries project manager Carlos Stabile to find out more about the implications of the incident that occurred at 6:30pm in the area of Estación Yuquerí south of Concordia. 

"When the fire happened there wasn't too much blueberry volume as the harvest had just begun, so we have a bit of time to evaluate the contingency plan," Stabile said.

Photo: Diario Río Uruguay

Photo: Diario Río Uruguay

"Operations will go ahead, agreed programs with all of our customers will be attended to, and field operations won't be altered too much," he said.

On the other hand, Stabile mentioned there were "multiple options to consider" when it came to packhouses and cold storage, including facilities run by Extraberries in Metan and Salta, as well as several in the Concordia area thanks to the "solidarity of our blueberry-growing peers in the municipality that have offered us packing capacity".

"The fire was immediately controlled by the local firemen and while the material losses in the packing plant are almost total (machinery and structure), it is noteworthy that there were no personal losses.

"We are planning its reconstruction."

He added the company "obviously regreted" the event.

"It will bring us complications but we will resolve them internally. We have a highly trained team for resolving this setback."

In terms of the fields, Stabile added there were great expectations for fruit volume.

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