The Sonoma, Calif.-based Chilean Fresh Fruit Association looks forward to another successful year of its winter berry collaboration with the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council, said Tom Tjerandsen, managing director for North America. The Chilean blueberry marketing program will expand for 2012-13, Tjerandsen said. “The tools and programs fielded to date have proven to be so successful that the growers in Chile have again increased their promotion budget,” he said. The Chilean blueberry industry makes a voluntary contribution to help the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council promote blueberries beyond the months the berries typically are available from U.S. growers. That allows for year-round promotions, Tjerandsen said. A section of the council’s website is devoted to promoting Chilean blueberries. “Winter Fresh Blueberries” emphasizes that blueberries shipped from Chile are held to the same standards as U.S.-grown fruit. “Chile’s clear blue skies, hot days and cool nights are ideal blueberry growing,” according to the promotion. “The first blueberry bushes were planted in Chile in the 1980s and since then, the number of blueberry acres in the country has skyrocketed.” The site also includes fact such as that between 2003 and 2010, the number of blueberry acres in Chile grew from 5,200 to 32,000.