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US trade commission finds that blueberry imports do not threaten domestic industry

US trade commission finds that blueberry imports do not threaten domestic industry
Photo: California Giant Berry

In an official deliberation, the US International Trade Commission has determined that fresh, chilled, or frozen blueberries are not being imported into the United States in such increased quantities as constitute a substantial cause of serious injury, or threat of serious injury, to the domestic industry. As a result, the investigation will end, and the Commission will not recommend a remedy to the President.

The investigation was initiated following a request by the office of US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in September 2020 to address concerns from US farmers that imported fruit harms their industry. Groups representing two different sectors of the US blueberry industry testified on January 12 at a hearing before the ITC.

The American Blueberry Growers Alliance (ABGA) said it is disappointed by the ITC ruling, while Latin American trade associations welcomed the decision. Daniel Bustamante of Peru’s ProArandanos called the ruling “the product of efficient and organized work of the industry as a whole – great teamwork that determined that exports favor the consumption of blueberries with excellent quality throughout the year”.

 

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Positive trends of blueberry consumption in Russia

Positive trends of blueberry consumption in Russia © Eurofresh Distribution
© Eurofresh Distribution

 

Blueberry consumption in Russia have been grown both in volume and in value. By 2020, it has increased by 82.8% since 2017 in terms of volume and has doubled in terms of value. The principal reasons are the expending healthy style life trend, the awareness of Russian consumers of the vigorous qualities of blueberry; the intensification of berries transforming industry and the swell of blueberry production globally and in Russia in particularly.  Thus, there are some government programs supporting the farmers producing berries; new varieties with better marketing value are being selected, new storage technologies are being implemented, and blueberry becomes accessible. 

 

Source: Research Store
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Argentine exports of fresh organic blueberries up 70% in 2019

Argentine exports of fresh organic blueberries up 70% in 2019

Argentina has comparative advantages to provide this growing market with multiple products from its regional economies due to the variety of climates, the fertility of its soil, its entrepreneurship and the possibility to supply on counter season. 

With 3.7 million hectares under organic monitoring during 2019, Argentina is the second largest country with certified organic surface in the world, only behind Australia. This is mainly because of the livestock production that occupies 3.4 million hectares, while the remaining 238 thousand hectares are destined to fruits and vegetable production. In this context, there is an important growth in the harvested area of blueberries that went from 156 hectares in 2011 to 1,001 hectares in 2019.

The production of blueberries in Argentina is located in a latitude where there is thermal amplitude and seasons well defined throughout the year that allows the production of a fruit with high content of sugar and therefore, sweeter. At the same time, the production is more natural, which is the result of soils rich in organic matter and nutrients, as well as a natural environment that does not favor the development of pests, allowing crops to be very healthy and environmental intervention to be minimal. All these added to the fact that the water quality is so good that it doesn’t need any type of intervention, results in organic production being able to occur very naturally.

Organic certification with approval for the UE, Japan and Switzerland

A fundamental characteristic that has made possible this prestigious position for the country from the beginning is its standard and control system. Facundo Soria, Coordinator at the Organic Production Area in the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, explained that “since 1990 Argentina has organic regulations very similar in its requirement to that of the European Union, who immediately recognized us as a third country. This allowed us to quickly access and position ourselves as a reliable supplier in the main consumer market of organic products at that time. A fer years later, Argentina gave a legal protection to the entire system through the Law 25.127/1999.” Currently the Argentine organic certification has approval for the European Union, Japan and Switzerland, and is in negotiations to achieve equivalences with the United States and South Korea. “These equivalences allow us to reach more and more consumers. Argentine organic products, especially fruits, are highly recognized abroad, not only because of the country’s prestige and the endorsement given by the National Service for Agri-food Health and Quality (SENASA), but also because of the intrinsic quality of the products.”

Organic blueberry production was slow at first, and as knowledge spread, the growth was unstoppable. Francisco Estrada, representative of the Argentinean Blueberry Committee (ABC), explained that “in the Northwest (NOA), the climatic factor has allowed the transition to organic production to be made easily. In addition to the fact that there is a clear global trend for consumers to choose products with these characteristics.” In this area, between 80% and 90% of blueberry production is organic or is in the process of certification.

European Union and the United States, the main export markets

In 2019, Argentina exported 47,922 tones of organic fruits. The main productive provinces were Río Negro (40%), Tucumán (22%) and Chubut (17%). In Tucumán, lemons and blueberries are the highlight. The total exported volume of blueberries in its different categories went from 697,979 kilos in 2015 to 2,206,935 kilos in 2019. Regarding fresh blueberries, there was a growth of 70% in 2019 versus 2018, reaching 1,907 tons and ranking third in volume of organic fruits, behind pear and apple.

 

 

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

Fresh Blueberries

330,846

293,954

714,349

1,123,744

1,906,879

Frozen Blueberries

 

 

212,185

185,834

300,056

IQF Frozen Blueberries

367,133

386,814

 

 

 

Blueberry marmalade with chia

 

 

35

 

 

Total

697,979

680,768

926,569

1,309,578

2,206,935

Source: National Service for Agri-food Health and Quality (SENASA)

Exports markets evolved through time. Until 2008, the main destination was the United Kingdom. That year the demand fell sharply. In 2010, the United States began showing growth that later turned out to be unstoppable and, shortly after, Europe equaled and even exceeded that demand. According to official data from SENASA, the main destinations for argentine organic blueberries were the European Union with 56% of the total and the United States with 39%. It is important to mention that, in the case of the U.S. market, the exported volume is surely much higher, since there is a universe of producers that only certifies with the U.S. certification and not with Argentina’s, so they are not accounted in the local statistics.

Development opportunities in Asia and the domestic market

According to Estrada, growth opportunities are important, first in the markets where Argentina is already present and has yet to make progress, such as the U.S., but also in those markets that are not yet developed like China, Southeast Asia and India, where the potential is huge.

The domestic market also represents an opportunity for development. In 2019 it represented 13,311 kilos, 0.7% of the total production volume, ranking fourth behind pears, apples and plums. In this sense, Soria stressed that “there is a boom in agroecological bags and, although there is no “agroecological” category of fruits as in the case of vegetables, generally that supply is complemented with organic fruits and that causes demand to skyrocket. This shows that the consumer is an increasingly conscious consumer, concerned about the food he eats.” In the same line, Estrada said that “in 4-5 years the local market will be very important because we are educating our children with more and more concern for health and the environment, and these children are beginning to define the purchases at their homes.”

 

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The webinar Blueberries in Eastern Europe, long-term blueberry market outlook for the Eastern Europe

The webinar Blueberries in Easter Europe, long-term blueberry market outlook for the Eastern Europe

Last week, the mangers of Fruit Inform Project agency (Ukraine) organized and carried out the webinar highlighting the blueberry production in former CIS countries and its marketing. They presented the results of unique study covering 75% of commercial blueberry production in Ukraine, Belarus, Russia and Uzbekistan.  

The study conducted by Fruit-Inform shows that next 5 years, the blueberry production rates will continue growing in the Eastern Europe. Ukraine is the Eastern European leader in the blueberry business, with areas expanding by 43% annually in 2016-2019, said Ievgen Kuzin, Fruit-Inform Analyst. Thus, most volume of the Ukrainian blueberry crop was sold out domestically: the crop was 35-40% less than in 2019 due to unexpected frost late in spring, and along with the growing demand, the price grew by 30%, making the export unnecessary. At the same time, it is remarkable that small farmers started to export to the Middle East and to Asia. Logistic is currently complicated, but hopefully the transit system will presently be upgrading and developing, believes Taras Bashtannyk, Director of Ukrainian Berry Company.

Other challenges for Ukrainian producers are crop protection (just 1% of the crop is growing on protected area), shortage of labour force (many Ukrainians leave the country for working in Central and Western Europe) and global competition. The growers should focus on the efficiency, the development of post-harvesting treatment, added-value services, etc. Ukraine may turn out into a real competitor to Morocco, as the former is closer to European consumer markets.

Long-term blueberry market outlook for the Eastern Europe and Central Asia

Ukraine and Russia are large producers of blueberry, but Belarus may lead in investments in blueberry handling technologies in the next five years, said Oleg Bosyy, Managing Partner of FruiTech Company. With the area of 3,000 ha, Belarus has big potential. Currently the quality of the crop is rather poor, besides the post-harvest treatment and packaging service are most primitive. However, the potential export of the country to Russia is big: it is just 5 hour drive from Minsk to Moscow, and small lots of the berry (3 to 5 tons) are tax free.

As for Uzbekistan, blueberry is currently a “show-off” commodity for the Uzbeks, it is a must have for wealthy people treating guests; the retail price reaches 40-50$ sometimes. Still the country may become a Chile in Central Asia, believes Andriy Yarmak, Investment Officer (FAO). The climate is most favourable, it is sunny and dry; there is enough supply of fresh water of high quality; there is enough labour force; farmers are hard-working. The production of early varieties may become the niche segment for farmers who will export them to Russia, India, China, and as far as South Asia. Although the logistic system is not well developed yet, but the transit through Iranian ports is possible.

Thus, Uzbekistan is the country with largest potential in the region.

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Argentina gets ready for the 2020 blueberry season

Argentina gets ready for the 2020 blueberry season
© IDEP /// PRESS RELEASE

 

With productive zones implementing strict healthy and safety protocols and an industry working closer than ever towards common goals, the 2020 blueberry season kicks off in Argentina.

Argentina is one of the main players in the global market, exporting blueberries for over 20 years. Its geographical location gives it the advantage of having counter-season crop, which means it can supply during periods of low production in the countries of the Northern Hemisphere. This is why the main destinations are the U.S., which represents 60% of the total exports, followed by Continental Europe and U.K. with 30%, and Canada and Asia, that together account for 10% of the shipments. In recent years, Argentina’s exports have stagnated at around 15,000 tons, representing 10% of the total blueberry offer in the commercial window from August to December in 2019. This is why Argentina is seeking to position itself in the world’s blueberry industry as a niche player with comparative advantages and differentiation values. “We are committed to presenting a product with very high-quality standards that are reflected in the certifications of the good agricultural and social practices to which we subscribe” said Federico Bayá, president of the Argentine Blueberry Committee (ABC).

Federico Bayá, president of the Argentine Blueberry Committee (ABC) /// © ABC

 

The differentiation strategy is based in three pillars: taste, organic productions and responsible labor. For the fourth consecutive year, the Argentine blueberry sector is carrying out its “Taste the Sweetness & Enjoy the Difference” promotional campaign to emphasize the sweet acidified taste of the Argentinean fruit that, because it is produced in areas with “cold hours” has a distinctive flavor that differentiate it from the rest of the suppliers. An additional factor is the increasing trend of organic production, which this year will represent one third of the total produced volume.

Blueberry, a responsible crop

In an increasingly competitive world in which decent work is often not valued and the purchase is determined by the cost, Argentina has national labor, social and health and safety laws that are models worldwide. In 2015, Argentina subscribed to the Sustainable Development Goals established by the UN, amongst which Goal Number 8 is promoting sustainable economic growth with decent work and the prohibition and elimination of child labor as one of the main factors to be complied with. In addition to comply to these international guidelines and promote a production based on a triple impact, locally the ABC is part of the Enterprise Network against Child Labor and is governed by the Nacional Plan for the Prevention and Elimination of Child Labor and Protection of Adolescent Labor.

The ABC has developed a social strategy based on concrete actions in the three productive zones of the country. “As a productive sector, we are increasingly committed to the social issues that surround our cultivation, especially regarding Child and Adolescent Labor. There are a lot of myths around this topic and we want to generate the necessary debates to banish them” emphasized Bayá. “We have been working in a project for the past two years that implicated the elaboration of a protocol named Responsible Agricultural Production (P.A.R.) which will allow us to focus on 3 aspects: preventing, monitoring and attending child labor.”

Higher sea shipments to become more competitive

Given the lack of competitiveness that the Argentine blueberry is facing due to a an increasingly complex and more supplied global market, the sector has been able to make the effort in logistics to reduce costs. “We were used to a market that paid air freight to receive the fruit faster, but today, with an increasing number of players supplying the market constantly, we need to focus on a different way of transport”. This is a trend that has been going on during the past years, where the rate of sea shipments went from 2-3% in 2014 to 35% in 2019. In the middle of the pandemic, where there will be a lower frequency of commercial flights, it is projected that only 30% of the fruit will be exported by air freight.

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IG International, having handled blueberries for three years now has brought the first shipment of blueberries from Chile to India, for the season 2020

IG, having handled blueberries for three years now has brought the first shipment of blueberries from Chile to India, for the season 2020

                                                                                                                                                                                         Press release

IG International, India’s largest fresh fruits importer has a strong base in the metro cities among its urban Indian consumers.

With regards to its intent to bring about the freshest produce to Indian markets, IG International has acquired its first shipment of Chile Blueberries for the 2020 season, to India. The organization intends to import 80MT  of these sweet and nutritious Blueberries for the 2020 Season. This healthy fruit has been remarked by fairly high consumption and subsequently high sales and will be retailed across metropolitan cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Hyderabad, and Cochin. It will be made available at Foodhall and Nature’s Basket  and Star Bazaar outlets.It is now also available on the IG- ecommerce platform.       

Many studies have proven that these blueberries decrease the risk of obesity, diabetes, cardiac diseases, and overall mortality. They help in the improvement of bone strength, skin health, blood pressure, hair growth, digestion and brain functioning while also contributing significantly in the prevention of cancer, combating muscle damage and UTIs, and boosting energy and memory capacity, anti-ageing and mental health. Blueberries have been termed as the king of antioxidants and superfood due to their unmatched nutritional value. Blueberries contain iron, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, zinc, manganese among the other flavonoids and enzymes while being one of the richest sources of Vitamin C and Vitamin K. Among the top and recommended fruits and vegetables with the highest health and taste ranking per calorie intake, blueberries manage to be at the front line with an ANDI score of 132 owing to its nutrient density. Blueberries are gaining popularity as great dog-foods too for their low calories, high antioxidants, vitamins and fibrinogens.                                       

Being imported in varieties of Semana, Jewel, Star, Ventura, Emerald, Legacy, Duke, and Brightwell etc. by IG International, these blueberries are being sold at approx INR 2000 per kg.                                        

On the shipment of Blueberries from Chile, ​Tarun Arora, Director, IG International ​said, “It is so amazing to see that this superfood is acquiring a larger audience every season, especially among the Indian urban customers. IG International is known to abide by its motto which is to strive until we provide the best and its pristine form and Chile Blueberries are simply among the best in the world. We had been planning to cater to our Indian audience with this rich variant of the world’s best blueberries since long, and it feels great to have received the first shipment of this 2020 season. These sweet and exclusive blueberries will surely tantalize Indian taste buds and we are expecting a surge in the sales of this season after this shipment from Chile.”                                                                  

Mr. Hugo Salvestrini, the Chilean trade commissioner (Pro Chile office in Delhi), expressing his gratitude towards IG International said “It is so good to see a trade happening between the two countries. We are hoping for a great response from the Indian Customers. We are also expecting a rise in sales as compared to the previous seasons because of its increasing popularity and high demands.”                             

We are really happy to start trading blueberries with India. We are expecting a great response from the customers and we hope to keep growing with all of our products and especially with the Blues added- Mr. Federico Casas, Export Manager- Exportadora Reina Sur.

IG International currently imports 32 global varieties of fruits from 22 countries to India and distributes these to multiple cities through its nation-wide distribution network. IG International is importing around 80 MT of this sweet and nutritious fruit for consumption majorly in the cities of Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Pune, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Kolkata, Cochin, Patna, and Nagpur. The awareness, consumption and subsequent sales of blueberries are evidently increasing in the country. IG International currently holds a market share of 42% for the superfood with its diverse range of high-quality exotic fruit offerings while blueberry continues to stay at the top in the list of superfoods. The company’s primary customers for blueberries are supermarkets, restaurants and hotels.        

                             

About IG International Pvt. Ltd.:                                                  

With fresh produce procurement spanning 25 countries and handling capacities of over 32 varieties of fruits, IG International has established its mettle in delivering on the diversified tastes of the Indian markets. Dedicated to providing high-quality natural products to its consumers, IG International Pvt. Ltd. is India’s one of the largest fresh produce importers. Dealing with the core activity of importing fresh fruits from all over the world, IG currently secures the best of exotic fruits globally all year round to supply the demand for high-quality fresh produce in India.

​Exportadora Reina Sur:

Aiming to produce 1600 tonnes of blueberries, Reina Sur is ​a Grower-Exporter Company of fresh fruit with more than 12 years of experience in the industry. They mainly export blueberries, cherries, table grapes and stone fruits.

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IG International brings finest quality farm-fresh fruits to consumers

IG International brings finest quality farm-fresh fruits to consumers © IG INTERNATIONAL
© IG INTERNATIONAL

 

Renowned fresh fruits importer IG International Pvt. Ltd. is now a part of the global blueberry sector, in partnership with MBO & Mano Babiolakis. Working with an Australian team, IG International has set up a large blueberry production area in India, the first of its kind for IG in India.

The venture began in 2017 and was motivated by a desire to produce the finest blueberries for Indian consumers on Indian soil. This is likely to revolutionise the global blueberry trade.

From the Indian perspective, this is the first large-scale blueberry project. IG International encountered some typical difficulties with climatic conditions before being able to successfully harvest blueberries in India thanks to persistent hard work.

 

IG International gains strategic advantages by producing blueberries in India

In India, the blueberry harvest spans from February to May. The window is in a strategic position to derive maximum value from markets across the world. During this phase, Chile’s yearly harvest season finishes, while the Northern Hemisphere season is just commencing. So, there are not many blueberries anywhere in the world during this window, which makes IG International’s Indian project a potentially lucrative one.

 

Blueberries are exceedingly good for public health

IG International is recognised for the quality of its blueberries, which are sold under the IG Berries brand. In India, IG International is planning to harvest 20mm blueberries that will be crunchy and sweet. 

Blueberries offer a range of benefits for public health, including aiding with the management of diabetes and UTIs. Similarly, blueberries are good for cardiovascular health. They help prevent cardiac disorders, keep the heart healthy, safeguard against cholesterol, and help manage hypertension. Blueberries are also associated with a reduction in muscle damage.

This is why nutritionists across the world label blueberries as a superfood and the king of antioxidant foods.

Despite being low in calories, blueberries have a high nutritional value. This is one of the key underlying factors behind the meteorological rise in the production and consumption of blueberries over the past few decades, particularly among people residing in urban areas. 

 

Blueberries produced by IG International are high-quality products

In a press conference, Tarun Arora, IGIPL director, vouched for the viability, quality, and pricing of the blueberries produced by IGIPL. This makes them highly lucrative for Indian and international consumers. Arora went on to state that this venture should secure IG International’s position among Asia’s top-five berry producers by 2024.

IG International’s blueberry production has certain unique features. Its produce procurement spans 22 countries, and the company has a handling capacity for 32 varieties. This empowers IG International to deliver natural produce to people with varied preferences in the Indian market.

 

About IG International Pvt Ltd. (IGIPL)

IG International is among the top importers of food produce across the world. The company is dedicated to ensuring that consumers get access to high-quality products. IG International is a group of 14 companies with 50 years of experience behind them, supplying the best-quality fresh produce. Importing fresh produce is the firm’s core activity.

The company initiated its activities in India in 2000, when its chairman, Gian Chand Arora, first imported fruit containers from Australia. From that point on, it began investing in infrastructure.

IGIPL is now a leader in imported fresh fruits. IGIPL handles fresh fruits in volumes of 3500 – 4000 sq foot3 refrigerated containers. The produce comes from 22 countries from all across the globe. 28 wholesale outlets from all across India manage the distribution of goods. 

Over 5 decades of experience in the industry has made IGIPL among the top distributors and marketers of the best quality and nutritious fresh fruits across the country. Consumers and industry players now associate the IG brand with reliability, freshness, and product quality.

Beyond imports, the other activities in IGIPL’s portfolio are temperature-controlled warehousing and third-party logistics. IGIPL currently has a capacity of 40,000 tons, with facilities in Amravati, Theog, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Bangalore, Chennai, and Mumbai. Its fleet comprises 50 refrigerated trailers and 50 refrigerated trucks. Each of the trailers has 40’ reefer containers.

 

IG International announces launch of eCommerce platform

IG International has now come up with a dedicated eCommerce platform that makes it easier for consumers and merchants to get access to fresh fruit produce. They can place orders online and the goods are delivered right to their doorstep. Although the idea of taking business online has been in the pipeline for some time now at IG International, it came to fruition during the recent lockdown.

Inter-state transportation became a difficulty during lockdown, as state borders were sealed. This led to cases where people had to make do with the groceries available in local grocery shops and from vendors. Access to nutritious foods and dairy products was still there, but the choices were limited. Even eCommerce deliveries were restricted to essential goods for a while to keep a check on the spread of COVID-19. 

IG International has entered the eCommerce arena at this stage to simplify shopping for consumers, and make sure that they find access to the most nutritious foods. This empowers consumers to shop at any time that suits them from the comfort of their homes over their PCs. They can also comfortably shop on the go, over their smartphones or using other mobile devices. IG International has come up with a responsive website that can be easily accessed over mobile devices and ensures the best possible end-user experience. The quality and freshness of products sold by IG international online or directly to vendors and consumers is always guaranteed to be the best. 

IG International’s services are preferred because the firm supplies the finest varieties of fresh fruits. Families can get the best fresh fruits to match their tastes. IG International takes pride in its endeavour to keep the community fit and healthy. Consumers and merchants alike prefer to shop at IG International’s online store because the website is easy to use, the menus and navigation are well defined, and they can complete purchases in three simple steps. IG International accepts several payment modes including net-banking, debit cards, credit cards, and PayPal.

Shopping at the IG International web mall is simple for consumers and merchants, who can find the best prices for all products. The products are nicely illustrated using photographs, so consumers can gauge their quality. IG International believes that going online will empower consumers to get easy access to fresh produce, particularly in times of lockdown. Consumers can hence comfortably access the products without going to the market. This promotes social distancing, which is one of the effective measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

 

High nutrition products made available at IG International’s website

IG International firmly believes that keeping the immune system strong is the best safeguard against COVID-19. Everyone should keep an additional tab on their family’s diet at such times. Fresh fruits and vegetables are among the best ways to get a strong immune system. 

Seasonal varieties of fruits are constantly and IG international makes the best seasonal produce available on its website. Citrus fruits are among the finest ways of boosting the immune system. They also make recovery quicker when one is afflicted by colds or flu. IG International believes that getting vitamin C from one’s diet by consuming fresh fruits is better than getting the same from supplements because fresh fruits provide holistic nutrition. Vitamin C boosts one’s immunity by enhancing the production of white blood cells, which helps fight infections. All citrus fruits are high in vitamin C, such as limes, lemons, and oranges. Moreover, varieties of fruits which are usually difficult to find such as kiwis are easily available at IG International’s website.

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Six-fold rise in US organic blueberry sales in past decade

Record exports of Chilean organic blueberries
© Eurofresh Distribution

 

Sales of organic blueberries in the US have rocketed over the past 10 years, with volumes increasing six-fold, from around 6 million kilos per year in 2010 to over 40 million kilos in 2019. Over the same period, prices have remained relatively stable, which means the market has become an extremely lucrative one. Average prices of organic blueberries tend to be around 50% higher than for conventional blueberries. However, premiums vary between different origins and at different times. According to USDA data, organic blueberries from Argentina and Uruguay cost up to 200% more than conventional berries in 2017, but the premium has diminished somewhat in the past two years. Indeed, the premiums paid for organic blueberries have been falling in most origins in recent times as supplies of organic fruit increase. This means the global blueberry market is becoming an ever-more competitive place with tighter margins. It will be interesting to see how the market is affected by the current Covid-19 pandemic: will consumer demand increase as health concerns play a greater role in driving demand, or will the economic fallout lead to a shift away from premium fruit?

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South Africa’s blueberry production continues to expand

South Africa’s blueberry production continues to expand

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.

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International Blueberry Organization Summit Rescheduled to 2021

The International Blueberry Organization’s (IBO) 2020 Summit, which was set to take place in Trujillo, Peru between August 10 and 12, 2020, has officially been rescheduled in light of the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. The event will now be held in the same location between August 22 and 25, 2021.

The IBO Summit brings the global blueberry industry together under one roof to address common challenges and identify new opportunities. It has become the most important event on the blueberry industry’s calendar.

[The decision to reschedule was made with careful consideration and following consultations with stakeholders and industry partners,” said Roberto Vargas, president of the Peruvian Blueberry Growers’ Association (ProArandanos). “We would like to thank everyone for their understanding and say that the Peruvian blueberry industry greatly looks forward to welcoming the global industry in 2021”.

 “The IBO’s number-one priority is ensuring the public safety of the community,” said Peter McPherson, chairman of the IBO. “We understand the inconvenience this may cause, but we hope that global industry participants can put aside that week next year to attend the IBO Summit, where the opportunity to gain industry knowledge, see the latest innovations and network with berry experts is second to none.”

All registrations, booths and sponsorships will be automatically valid for the rescheduled IBO Summit in 2021.