Peru blueberry exports hit US$230 million in 2016
January 5, 2017

Agriculture Ministry's preliminary figures place Peruvian blueberry exports at US$232.9 million in 2016, a 140% increase over 2015, State-run Sierra y Selva Exportadora (Exporting Andes and Jungle) program reported.

Main destinations were the United States (US$130.7 million), the Netherlands (US$52.7 million), the United Kingdom (US$29.6 million), and Canada (US$4.9 million).

The major leap is in line with the program's previous US$200 million+ forecast last May, when it projected a significant increase based on the country's surging blueberry production.

Likewise, shipments' volume has soared over the last years, going from 1,688 tons in 2013, to 3,000 tons in 2014, and later closing 2015 at 9,600 tons. 

For 2016, the Agriculture Ministry projected blueberry production at 20,000 tons, more than doubling 2015's output. 

Small-scale producers’ contribution

Small-scale producers, who own 1-10 hectares, account for 15% of blueberry shipments. Thus, Sierra y Selva Exportadora worked to increase their participation in the berries boom. 

 Fernando Jimenez Loayza, one of said producers, exported 36 tons of (Biloxi) blueberries to the United States and Europe in 2016. He expects to raise shipments to 100 tons and venture into the Chinese market.

Similarly, Pierina Sotomayor, who has exported Biloxi blueberries to the U.S. and Europe since 2014, plans to enter China's and United Arab Emirates' markets.  

Peru's small-scale producers have been implementing Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), gearing up towards the Global GAP Certification that will allow them to compete in new markets.