Ecuador’s blueberry industry is the ‘new kid on the block’
November 27, 2023

In only its third season of blueberry exports to some world markets Ecuador’s industry is the proverbial 'new kid on the block', with the advantage of having 52 weeks of supply available. According to Ing. Sebastian Muñoz, from the Ecuadorian Federation of Blueberry Producers and Exporters, (FEPEXA) “Ecuador has opened the phytosanitary protocol to more than 30 countries to export blueberries. Exports started in 2021 and fruit was sent to the Netherlands, United States, Singapore, Malaysia, Spain and Panamá.”


Photo: Nobis, Ecuador.

As a new blueberry-producing country Ecuador only has 300 hectares with exports in 2022 reaching 220 tons, at a FOB price of $1,242,000 says Muñoz. They grow the blueberries in a few of the cities of the two zones of Sierra and Costa. The varieties planted in Ecuador are Biloxi, Emerald, Jewel, Legacy, Star, Atlas and Eureka Sunrise.

Producers hold GlobalG.A.P, Rainforest Alliance, and hold Ecuadorian organic production certifications. The country has over 100 blueberry producers with 25 associated with FEPEXA. They grow a combined 300 hectares, which is projected to grow to 1,000 hectares over the next few years.

Given the advantage of being able to grow blueberries all year round Ecuador has ambitious plans to reach even more markets. “Ecuador has opened the phytosanitary protocol to more than 30 countries to export blueberries. FEPEXA and the Government Agency AGROCALIDAD are working on opening new markets, including China, Switzerland, Norway, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Thailand, Vietnam, India, Indonesia and Japan,” says a hopeful Muñoz.

As Peru, the world leader in blueberry production and exports struggles this season, Muñoz says this presents Ecuador with an opportunity to reach all these new markets. “It presents us with an opportunity for Ecuadorian blueberries and other countries, while the demand is increasing. Ecuador is a new player on the list of blueberry-producing countries, but with a promising future, with good caliber fruit, bloom, and brix degrees that will allow us to compete in the international blueberry market,” concludes Muñoz.