The demand for blueberries has been growing steadily in Europe in recent years. As such, many companies from different countries follow the trend. For years, frozen wild blueberries dominated the berry industry in Ukraine being one of most important export products for Europe.
Recently, cultivated highbush blueberries have also entered the market. If frozen wild blueberries market is ingredients B2B, then for cultivated blueberries main market is fresh consumption. Despite of similar name “blueberries” these two plans are from different families - Vaccínium myrtíllus (wild blueberries or European blueberry, or biberry) and Vaccinium corymbosum (cultivated high bush blueberries)
In Ukraine production of cultivated blueberries as industry just started few years ago. Most berries plantation are still relatively young yet – average age of blueberry farm in Ukraine is 3-4 years. Every year it can only be expected to yield higher production in Ukraine.
Irina Kukhtina, President of Ukranian Berries Association © Eurofresh Distribution Magazine
Currently, approximately 3000 hectares of land is producing blueberries in Ukraine. According to Kukhtina, they focus on “developing the businesses of their members by boosting business efficiency, providing market information, improving staff qualifications, and participating in international trade fairs.” UBA provides high quality berries to countries within the European Union while planning to expand their reach to Asia with China looking to be a viable market. Of course, even with the rising market, global competition and promotion has been a minor bump in the road especially for newcomers. Fortunately, the quality of their products speaks for itself and this year, they plan to establish long-lasting relationships with even more partner companies and institutions.