Peruvian blueberry volumes to end up 50% higher this season
With the Peruvian blueberry season finishing up in February, the industry anticipates a 50% year-on-year increase in volumes. In total, it expects to export 120,000 metric tons (MT).
With new plantations maturing, the industry had expected to see the rise in numbers. Around 10,000 hectares are now planted in the country, a figure that has been rapidly rising. With this growth, however, there also come challenges.
Luis Miguel Vegas of the Peruvian Blueberry Grower's Association (ProArándanos) told FreshFruitPortal about developments throughout the campaign.
"We are just finishing up with the season. Our peaks were at the end of September, early October," he said.
Peruvian blueberry quality and arrival in markets
Quality of the fruit was one issue that Vegas pointed to. He said that the industry's objective is "to maintain quality" in order to be "trustworthy for the different commercial markets at a global level".
"I think that Peruvian blueberries are positioning themselves as a high quality and trustworthy product," added Vegas.
This is the industry's main concern - ensuring that it keeps producing high-quality fruit. Vegas detailed that the entire industry has to work to provide top quality blueberries.
With the rise in volumes, export numbers were in line with expectations. The country had already exported 100,000MT by the end of the year.
There has been a good stream of movement to destination markets, explained Vegas. Peru's most important markets, the U.S., the U.K., the Netherlands and Asia, received shipments without any problems.
"Shipments from Peru have been arriving successfully so far. Everything's going as we expected, very few blueberries have been rejected. In terms of growth, Peruvian blueberry production is accelerating."
Preparation for the blueberry summit
Apart from the current season and expectations as it comes to a close, Vegas spoke about the event that Peru has been planning for months. The country will host the International Blueberry Organization Summit (IBO) in August.
"We are currently organizing the summit, something that is really important," he explained.
He went on to add that the Peruvian blueberry industry is "really excited to get visitors from all around the world and leave a good impression on them. We want to show them all of the great things that we're doing in this country," he said.