Peru will hold the first position as world's exporter of blueberries this 2022, for fourth consecutive year due to the best performance of shipments, according to projections by the Association of Peruvian Exporters (Adex).
Adex Consulting and Projects Head Lizbeth Pumasunco reported that since 2019 Peru has been leading the globe's exports ranking linked to this fruit.
"Worldwide, Peru has been ranked first as exporting country since 2019, a position that has been maintained in 2020 and 2021," she told the Official Gazette El Peruano.
In 2021, Peruvian blueberry exports reached US$1.221 billion, which implied a 172% expansion over the previous year.
The Adex officer explained that favorable expectations for the current year are based on good performance of the production season and the distance existing with the second-largest exporter of blueberries: Spain, whose share is half what the South American country has recorded.
"In 2021, we reached a share of 25.2% in terms of total demand versus 12.7% by Spain," she specified.
Pumasunco mentioned that exports of this fruit have already surpassed those registered before the COVID-19 pandemic.
The health-related situation also favored greater demand for this type of product due to a change in the consumer profile —with greater preference for the products that contribute to people's health.
The officer mentioned that, according to the Asociación de Productores de Arandanos del Perú (Peruvian Blueberry Exporters Association), a shipment of 276,938 tons will be registered in the 2022-2023 season.
"With both public and private institutions, the strengthening and the follow-up to increase production in La Libertad, Lambayeque, among other main production areas, are being crafted," she mentioned.
According to Adex's Fruit and Vegetables Committee Chairman Elkin Vanegas, blueberries, due to their production and exports volume, are projected to become a flagship product in international trade in the medium term.
"When a country starts to become a major producer, the international market starts to categorize it. There are already talks about Peruvian blueberries; this tends to generate an identity of the product-origin," he highlighted.
Leading Peru in blueberry exports, Vanegas commented that the market is starting to create an identity of origin.
"This is the path our blueberries are on due to their participation in the international market," he said.
Vanegas explained that this good performance of blueberry exports is the outcome of 10 years of investments.
"We rely on an important production capacity, where we even aim to occupy the top positions of exportation in the sphere of fruits and vegetables," he noted.