One shipper is beginning to bring blueberries in from a new country of origin this week: Colombia.
“Colombia has been one of the most underperforming countries but it has so much potential. And you see countries such as Peru doing well with blueberries,” says Matt Aaron of Andes Fruits Colombia, which already ships products such as goldenberries out of the country. “But finally more diversity of fruit is starting to come out of Colombia.”
Aaron says the first few weeks will begin with trail volumes and then Andes will determine how to build on the program from there. “It’s exciting because it’s a new offering from Colombia into the U.S. market,” says Aaron.
Following Europe’s lead
Andes has already started shipping the berries, which are grown in the Boyacá region of Colombia, this year to Germany and the Netherlands. “And the feedback from Europe is that the berries are big and taste good,” says Aaron. “We’re also hearing that people are less concerned about the varieties and more concerned about the good size and taste of the fruit.”
What’s unsure at this point is what the demand for the berries will look like. “This year is a figuring- things-out year,” says Aaron. “But it seems like there’s a lot of potential here. In Colombia, you can grow blueberries year round so we can fill supply gaps anywhere.”
The berries will be available in clamshells and Aaron adds that pricing will be competitive. “You have to have competitive pricing when you’re new into a market,” he says, adding that it’s also exploring alternate currencies in payment in the form of Bitcoin and Bitcoin cash.