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Betina Ernst: “The blueberry never ceases to amaze. Each campaign brings new surprises "

Blueberries: a moving market, full of surprises.
Blueberries: a moving market, full of surprises.

The agronomist Betina Ernst, president of Top Info Marketing SA, makes an analysis in two reports of the state of the blueberry industry in the main exporting countries of the southern hemisphere, or the southern world, as she calls it.

“The blueberry never ceases to amaze. Each campaign brings new surprises. This year was characterized by a strong increase in shipments, generally low prices, a shift towards organic and the US threat to restrict imports. On the other hand, the countries continue in their dynamics of constant varietal replacement, quality improvement, incorporation of technology, search for new markets, etc .; but also with labor, economic and political problems," he points out as a general framework.

Argentina and a new industry In the case of Argentina, the analyst advises to rethink the objectives of the industry, because, as an early supplier, and working with air shipping, it is not sustainable and seriously threatens the development of its industry due to the strength of new competitors in the market. same period.

In this sense, the expert assures that in the Argentine industry “like Chile, a great effort is being made to transform itself into a quality supplier, taking advantage of the special taste of the Argentine blueberry. For which a great varietal replacement is being carried out. The traditional ones like O'Neil, Misty and Jewel are disappearing. Currently the Snowchaser, Star, San Joaquin, Farthing, etc. predominate,” he assures. In the case of costs, you have to reduce them by turning to ocean shipments. “In the current campaign for the first time it was possible to send more by ship (57%) than by air. In previous years only 10-20% left by ship,” he explains.

According to their data, the cultivated area decreased to 2.650 hectares, which are distributed almost evenly between the Litoral region (Entre Ríos, Corrientes) and the northwest (Tucumán, Salta). Exports of 15-17.000 tons were also reduced. a few years ago, at 10.500 tons in the 2020/21 season, which means 17% lower than 2019 and 30% lower than 2017 and 2018.

Chile's replacement “In its history, Chile was able to successfully solve the problems that arose, be it due to the weather, some plague or commercial problems. In recent years the world situation has been complicated by increasing competition from new producers," Betina Ernst points out, adding: "Faced with this situation, the Chilean industry rethink its strategies, aiming to be a superior quality supplier."

The analyst highlights the strong varietal change in the Chilean industry in the light of the recommendations of the Blueberry Committee. According to their data, “in 2019/20 more than 50% of the export corresponded to 3 varieties: Legacy, Duke and Brigitta. Of these Legacy and Duke, along with Draper and Emerald, belong to the group of 'recommended varieties' by the Committee.......

Uruguay also exchanges For the full article on Blueberry Consulting, please click here.

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