Bionest has taken a leap in its production and will now offer its customers blueberries throughout the entire year. “This campaign, we will strengthen our ties with suppliers and customers by importing blueberry from South America to supplement our production and offer a year-round supply,” said Thomas Cera, marketing manager. Moreover, for the first time, Bionest will offer blackberry for ten months of the year. This allows the firm to offer mixed packaging formats made up of mini-kiwi, raspberry, blackberry, blueberry and goji berry. These tubs containing two or three different products add value and can also be marketed in more sustainable packaging. “We have cardboard packaging made from cellulose and kraft, and heat-sealed made from cardboard or cellulose, which requires a minimum amount of plastic use and is also compostable,” said Cera. Meanwhile, Bionest is presenting its new strawberry and raspberry varieties to several selected clients. These products should be launched by the end of 2020.
Huertos Collipulli is a grouping of six associated fruit producers in southern Chile. Total production includes 300ha of blueberries, 100ha of apples and 50ha of cherries. Recently, the group received approval of its organic blueberry certification from China.
“We already held certificates for the US and Europe, but as of 2015 we are now able to export organic blueberries to China. This is the first certified Chilean fruit approved for export to this Asian country,” said commercial manager Cristobal Duke.
The company is also planning to add fair trade certification to its organic blueberry operation, aiming to embrace the full concept, including good practices in the fields and packing facilities. “Our current strategy is to produce fruit that is able to travel long distances, reaching any market in good condition. We’ve been increasing the surface planted with specific ‘travelling’ varieties such as Duke, Legacy and Brigitta in the case of blueberries,” Duke said.
The company’s organic line accounts for 25% of total blueberry production. It has also doubled the surface destined to organic over the last three years, foreseeing the increase in demand that might follow from China. The company’s market for blueberries is well diversified, Duke said.
“Half of our production goes to the US, 10% to Canada, 15% to continental Europe, 10% to England and 15% to Asia”. The lion’s share of cherry production goes to Asia, 10% to England and around 5% to North America. Apples are exported in equal parts to the US and Canada, Asia and Europe. Starting in 2014, some 5-10% is shipped to Middle Eastern markets. The company mostly sells directly to retailers and wholesalers.
Blueberries image courtesy of Huertos Collipulli