Fist blueberries in Republic of Georgia
Georgian blueberries have ripened. One of the largest producers of berries in Georgia, the Blue Valley company, has started the harvest of early varieties of blueberries such as “Onil”, “Star” and “New Hanover”, produced in film tunnels.
According to Levan Lebanidze, one of the partners of the company, the first batch of blueberries will go on the local market. When the mass ripening of the berries begins, the company will start the exports. This year’s blueberry season is 1–2 weeks late compared to a multiyear average due to an unusually cold spring that delayed the onset of blueberry flowering.
Blue Valley plans to harvest around 130 tons of fresh blueberries this season. The main exports destinations for blueberries from Georgia are the Russian Federation, the Middle East and the EU. In order to work with the demanding EU retail, Blue Valley was the first in Georgia to implement the GRASP (GLOBALG.AP Risk Assessment on Social Practice) standard with the assistance of the USAID Agriculture Program. GRASP is an add-on module to GlobalG.AP that addresses specific aspects related to the health, safety, and well-being of workers.