While blueberries are one of the most trending superfoods in the world, seeing 14% -$480 million-growth rates of global exports annually, Ukraine, one of the world leaders in expanding areas of blueberries, found itself in the top three countries in terms of the rate of blueberry export decline, with an average annual reduction in Ukrainian blueberry exports at 16% per year.
Andriy Yarmak, economist at the Investments Centre of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), said at yesterday’s FTrade Berry Club 2021 berry conference: “In terms of annual sales growth, blueberries are now second only to avocados. About 700,000 tons of blueberries worth $4 billion are exported annually.”
East-fruit.com also quoted Yarmak as saying: “Asian countries and the European Union are the fastest growing markets for fresh blueberries. At the same time, the COVID-19 pandemic, despite the fears of berry growers, sharply raised the demand for this most expensive berry in the world. This happened because consumers around the world took care of their own health and learned that blueberries are among the most healthier fruits.”
Why did the export of blueberries from Ukraine performed so poorly? Does Ukraine have any chances and prospects in the global blueberry market? The FAO economist said: “The bad news for Ukrainian producers is that there are good prospects for growing blueberries almost anywhere in the world – the first orchard has already appeared even in the UAE.”
Today we can see a great increase in interest in the cultivation of blueberries in Uzbekistan and other Central Asian countries. There is another trend as well; the rapid progress of greenhouse technologies that allow growing a wider range of crops in greenhouses. Therefore, there are already many projects in the world for growing off-season blueberries near major markets.