Chilean blueberry export peak period kicks off
November 30, 2012

The start of Chile’s peak blueberry season has begun with promotional volumes expected to continue through to the end of February.

According to figures released by iQonsulting, exports will stand at around 3,500 metric tons (MT) during week 48, rising to 6,000MT in week 49.

The consultancy group said the harvest was entering a regular phase, after they were affected by rain and lack of temperature in the IV (Coquimbo) region.

“Currently, the possibility of rain has lowered significantly in the harvest regions and this means that collecting activity is not halted,” iQonsulting said.

“Temperature accumulation has been systematic and has surpassed 10-20% in some sectors of the central zone, which is positive and allows us to anticipate a progression without setbacks until the end of the year.”

Chilean Blueberry Committee president Andrés Armstrong told a trend towards larger packaging during the peak period has been underway in recent seasons, improving the mobility of fruit in points of sale.

“This has been very effective, and so it should be repeated this season,” he said.

Due to the growing blueberry volumes coming out of Chile, the committee has been working with the Association of Exporters (ASOEX) and the Agriculture and Livestock Services (SAG) to open new markets. The opening of the Chinese and South Korean markets is a result of this, and the two countries will receive Chilean fruit this season.

“But this is not sufficient. It is necessary to boost consumption and to do this we have also worked together with ASOEX and in this case ProChile to implement promotional programs in potential markets.

“The experience in markets like Europe, like Denmark and Russia, has been a significant support, and we expect the same in China and Korea for this season.

“In the U.S. and Canada we also have an extensive promotional program to take on different areas of action from retail to foodservice to public relations.”