While the South African blueberry industry is relatively small compared to other local fruits, it is a fast-growing sector. Indeed, the area planted with blueberries is projected to increase by 17% in the 2020/21 campaign and reach 2,800 hectares, according to SABPA data. The country’s production area has grown at over 30% per annum over the past nine years, largely driven by continued investment by local blueberry growers and the entry of international growers, especially from Europe. The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) has also been a driving force in developing the berry sector by funding various projects across the country and encouraging the establishment of an association, the South African Berry Producers Association (SABPA).
The Western Cape Province is the leading blueberry producing area in South Africa, accounting for over 60% of production, followed by Limpopo (15%), North West (10%), Gauteng (8%), and Eastern Cape (4%). The three biggest producers are Berryworld, Haygrove and United Exports.