La Cubana grows blueberries, raspberries and blackberries in a 70 hectare plantation in San Pedro, Argentina. In the past they only produced blueberries for fresh consumption, but over the past two seasons the firm has exclusively exported frozen fruit with the objective of gaining a stronger foothold in the international market, with a wider variety and volumes all year round and not only during the harvest period.
"Blueberry consumption is widely advertised in the United States," said Grinner, and this is reflected on sales. 85% of the firm's exports are shipped to the United States, while the other 15% goes to Europe. Although last year's low prices affected them, the company has continued growing. "Four years ago, the firm started with three containers and now it is one of Argentina's largest IQF (Individually Quick Frozen) blueberry exporters," said Grinner.
After the US blueberry market shipped much of its own harvest to the IQF industry, a greater demand for fresh blueberry imports was sparked. This is why La Cubana expects to continue increasing its frozen blueberry exports and will seek to re-enter the market with fresh blueberries, hoping for a high demand and good prices for its fruit. Alejandro Grinner, commercial manager of La Cubana, thinks that the situation will change next year. "We expect a good season," said Grinner. "Our flagship product, frozen blueberries, was affected by the circumstances in the United States, but we expect improvements this season, with better prices and more varieties." He also stated that they will again export fresh fruit this year under the brand "Rocío del Sur" and frozen fruit under the brand "La Cubana". Fresh Plaza