Guadalajara meeting opens with powerful messages to the industry and producers
With great vigor and enthusiasm for the growth of the Mexican blueberry industry, but with a strong sense of reality, responsibility and management, the XXVI International Blueberry Seminar in Guadalajara.
After the opening words of the authorities and the welcome from the organizers, the interesting Round Table was held: "Mexican leaders analyze the present and future of the blueberry industry", in which the President of Aneberries, José Luis Bustamanteplatforms, President of the Board of Berries Paradise, Francisco Javier Ortíz, as well as the CEO of Hortifrut, Rigoberto Guerrero, three well-known industry leaders, who demonstrated their extensive experience in the blueberry industry and market, who generously shared their knowledge and, above all, clearly made their opinions clear that each one has forged from the Mexican industry regarding and the factors or main aspects that must be faced to achieve the successful results that everyone expects.
The challenges for the industry
There was a consensus to identify the biggest shortcomings that the activity faces, identifying the lack of labor as the first threat, costs are added, affected by the strengthening of the peso against the dollar due to the fact that most of the inputs are in local currency. Also added is the low availability of water for cultivation and, above all, the low yield averages per hectare, among other factors to be overcome.
A growth with precautions
There was also a consensus that the Mexican industry is growing, in fact, it is preparing to exceed 100 tons, and that its growth is justified because the demand for blueberries is increasing in the world, but they were emphatic in pointing out that it will be useless to achieve this growth if the quality of the fruit does not rise. It would not be profitable growth.
Taste as the main objective
"We have to strengthen our window from February to May (...) there is a lot of room to continue growing, but we must do it with quality, flavor and quality" he warned Rigoberto Guerrero placeholder image, who was emphatic in assuring that the biggest challenge for Mexican producers is flavor. "The market goes to the flavor, the market pays differentiated for the flavor," emphasized the executive of Hortifrut.
Regarding the growth of the Mexican industry, which has moved in recent years to the northern regions of the country, the panelists warned that these are areas that, although they have the advantage of being closer to the US market, are regions that are very prone to pests and diseases, where, in addition, excessive environmental heat threatens crop yields.
grow in the center
Francisco Ortiz, argued with great conviction that "The growth of the blueberry area in Mexico must be in the center of the country", explaining the beneficial comparative differences of the regions of central Mexico, adjacent or close to the Jalisco area. In addition to the various arguments of this thesis, shared by the other speakers, the great challenges that must be overcome in the regions of Sinaloa, Baja California and others in which new blueberry projects have been installed in the north of the country were highlighted.
New genetics and packaging automation
Continuing with the analysis, they conclude that new genetics should be part of the solution to achieve these objectives. But a new genetics that ensures a higher yield, in addition to the larger size, good flavor and better quality of the fruit that the variety market offers.
"For it to be a good business we have to aspire to 30 tons per hectare, at least 25," he says. Rigoberto Guerrero placeholder image. “Although 20 tons is a good number…”, he adds Francisco Ortiz and maintains that "if the packaging is mechanized, there is profit on all sides", detailing the different manual tasks that could be replaced with a mechanization of the packaging stage, which would be beneficial for the results of selection, handling and many other tasks that they can be replaced by a more efficient and faster system.
"A varietal replacement that ensures a yield of 30 tons is what you have to opt for, but you can't think about growth if you don't think about mechanizing the packaging," supports the Hortifrut CEO.
"I believe that the logistical challenge is very important, because we are at a disadvantage to reach and be competitive in distant markets, such as China," adds the president of aneberries".
Biloxi v/s new genetics
Subsequently, the businessman Juan Pablo Bentin, reinforced the need for genetic replacement to face the challenges of the Mexican industry by showing the results of his project that he has implemented in the dunes of the town of Pisco, in Peru, which includes 400 hectares with Australian varieties of Mountain Blue Orchards (MBO). .
In your presentation, John Paul Bentin He made a detailed comparative table with the Biloxi variety – which his company has produced for years and with good yields – and the numbers regarding costs, and especially profitability, are too overwhelming to not decide to switch to varieties with better genetics. urgently.
The meeting continues in its two days addressing the issues that matter most to producers and the blueberry industry in Mexico, such as genetic supply, irrigation technology, hydroponic management, nutrition, protection against pests and diseases and market opportunities, among several others. important aspects for Mexico in its perspective of growth.
The next meeting of Blueberries Consulting It will be held 12 & 13 of July en Trujillo, Peru, an event that generates great interest for being the main producing area of the country.
El XXVII International Blueberry Seminar Trujillo, Peru 2023, has the LAST STANDS AVAILABLE!
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