Chile-headquartered berry company Hortifrut has announced a commercial alliance in Colombia to export blueberries, as it continues its international expansion.
Hortifrut said that its deal with Proplantas - a pioneering Colombian marketer of blueberries and strawberries - will help it to bolster its blueberry business and be closer to key markets.
The two companies will create a "commercial platform" in the country to export fruit to leading Northern Hemisphere markets from next year.
Hortifrut will control 75% of the new entity, with Proplantas owners - the Afanador family - controlling the other 25%.
"We are very proud of this commercial alliance with the company that pioneered and drove the Colombian berry industry," said Hortifrut CEO Juan Ignacio Allende.
He added that the deal allows Hortifrut to "improve our commercial position globally".
"At the same time, it adds value to our global and continuous supply of berries, with the addition of Colombian blueberries of exceptional quality," he said.
Colombia has excellent transportation and logistics infrastructure, and it is close to the key destination markets, he added.
This development follows on from Hortifrut's 2018 merger with Peruvian blueberry company Grupo Rocío.
Through its investments and partnerships around the world - including in Mexico, China, the U.S. and Morocco - Hortifrut says its blueberry volumes will reach 100,000 metric tons (MT) annually by 2021, consolidating its leading position worldwide.
Proplantas was founded 33 years ago by Gerardo Afanador, whose innovative vision contributed to the development of the Colombian strawberry industry, Hortifrut said.
To date, the company has imported more than 150 million plants from Chile and the U.S. It continues to be a leader in the supply of strawberry plants and genetics in the country.
It has also been a pioneer in blueberries, becoming one of the most important players in Colombia.