Ecuadorian blueberries enter the international market
October 11, 2022

Ecuador is now competing in the international blueberry market following a shipment of five tons exported by sea, the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG) has confirmed. 

The entity reported that the fruit was produced in the Zapotillo canton, in the province of Loja. First crops were planted in 2015, by a small group of entrepreneurs. Currently, 23 partners make up the Ecuadorian Federation of Blueberry Producers and Exporters (Fepexa).

The first harvest, produced by the agroexport trust Nobis, will come from ten hectares planted in Patate city.

"Ecuador has many opportunities to become an agroexport investment destination; its land is fertile, it has a favorable climate, its geographical position allows the development of competitive fruits and it has skilled labor," said Patricio Almeida, executive director of the Agency for Regulation and Phytosanitary and Zoosanitary Control (Agrocalidad).

Approximately 50 hectares are dedicated to the crop in Carchi, Imbabura, Pichincha, Cotopaxi, Tungurahua, Azuay and Loja. Meanwhile, trials and tests are being conducted for different varieties in Santa Elena, El Oro and Manabí.

"With this shipment, Ecuador begins its journey to venture into the international blueberry market. This crop is gaining strength for its medicinal and nutritional properties: they are low in calories, have a high fiber content, antioxidants and vitamins C and K. In addition, blueberry juice protects the immune system. As it is a fruit with many health benefits, its fresh and delicious flavor is known as 'the super fruit of the 21st century'," the executive said.

Eight exporting companies are already finding success in 2022.

The fruit is exported to Spain, Holland and Germany. Although the main producer and importer of blueberries in the world is the U.S., there are important producers in Latin America, such as Peru and Chile. Meanwhile, in Ecuador, MAG assured that it is strengthening the blueberry supply chain, in a joint effort with Fepexa.

MAG also indicated that it is presently organizing training for export, especially in the provinces of Imbabura and Carchi, with the support of private companies.