Argentina: Blueberry harvest begins
November 30, 2012

In early November, the blueberry harvest started in the provinces of Buenos Aires, Santa Fe and Entre Rios, Argentina. The harvest of a product valued in foreign markets is always welcome. Jorge Kaial, of Berry Store, pointed out that "despite the global recession, blueberries are still demanded. Even though they are not first necessity goods, they are widely consumed because of their health properties and benefits." Both the United States and Europe have incorporated them to their diet.

Local consumption has also been changing. Consumers access lots of information and have had the chance to travel and familiarise themselves with other customs and eating habits. This way, they become more demanding and look for high quality products comparable to those they saw abroad. For Kaial, "it is also noteworthy to mention how Argentinians are becoming aware of the necessity for a healthy and natural diet, added to the fact that doctors are recommending healthy food products to their patients to accompany different treatments, among which are blueberries."

This year around 16,000 tonnes of blueberries will be exported, and Argentina will contribute with 1,000 tonnes. The rest will obviously come from the region harvesting first: Tucuman, as well as from Salta and Catamarca to a lesser extent.

Although Jorge Kaial was cautious when talking about the medium term, he was optimistic "because we are covering a steadily increasing demand and there is a huge potential for growth, as we anticipate favourable conditions to continue this way."

Kaial got into this business thinking of it as one merely focused on exports, but when faced with the global recession, he managed to convert it, give it value added, and be successful with a very high quality product.

"We are very close to the opening of our first franchise in the city of Pergamino, Buenos Aires, with several stores in a number of different towns, helping us to promote the qualities of this fruit offering high quality products. This will boost production and bring the fruit produced in our fields to the best destinations," he said proudly.