The new season marketing initiative will focus on the early availability, freshness and safety of blueberries from Argentina The Argentinean Blueberry Committee (ABC) has launched a print and online marketing campaign in the US called ‘First to Fall’, according to a news statement from the organisation. The drive is aimed at raising awareness among US retailers, buyers and consumers of the early availability of off-season blueberries from Argentina on the US market. Created by ABC partner Full Steam Marketing and Design in Salinas, California, the campaign will emphasise the “reliability, freshness and safety” of Argentinean blueberries, which extend fresh blueberry availability in the US from fall (autumn) into winter. With approximately 90 per cent of Argentinean blueberries arriving into the US via air, ABC said the journey time is drastically reduced, helping to ensure freshness and availability to consumers. With the peak in Argentina’s early blueberry harvesting occurring during weeks 43, 44 and 45, the association said US retailers can also capitalise on starting supply at this time to promote and grow their sales. “Argentina has the volume to fulfil the need for off-season blueberries from the time back-to-school starts well on through the holiday season as shipments begin in September and continue into late December,” ABC explained. “Argentinean fields are certified and maintain the strictest standards in food safety.” For the 2012/13 season, ABC forecasts exports will reach approximately 15,000 tonnes, which is a similar volume to 2011/12. The first shipments are already underway from the Tucumán region, while in late October shipments will begin from the Concordia region, followed in November by shipments from the Buenos Aires North region. Established in 2010, ABC members include: Agroberries, Ayui, Berries del Plata, Berries del Sol, Blueberries, Extraberries, Hortifrut Argentina, Nice Berry, North Bay Produce, Sun Belle Argentina, Sunny Valley Argentina and Tecnovital.