Juan José Gamarra, Regional Export Manager – America of the company, pointed out:

“Hortifrut's objective is to reach all possible customers with the most suitable fruit for each of them”

Hortifrut Perú projects that blueberry shipments in the 2023/2024 campaign will be reduced by approximately 10% compared to the more than 34 million kilos exported in the previous campaign.

Exports of fresh blueberries by Peru in the 2023/2024 campaign will register a decrease due to the weather. In this regard, the Association of Blueberry Producers of Peru (Proarándanos) projects a drop between 15 and 20% in volume compared to the previous campaign, when it reached 285.000 tons.

The Regional Export Manager – America of Hortifrut, Juan José Gamarra, pointed out that the high temperatures recorded have not allowed the crop to receive the hours of cold necessary to develop the flowering process of the fruit, causing the delay of the fresh blueberry campaign. .

He explained that this delay in the campaign has caused its peak to move from September - October to the months of November - December. In addition, it is expected that there will be more fruit in the months of February and March compared to similar months in previous campaigns.

He indicated that so far this campaign, the volumes of blueberries shipped by Peru are around 50% lower compared to the volume exported in the same period of the last campaign.

"In general terms there will be a drop, but the relevant thing is that a lot of blueberry volume will come out together with the Peruvian grape campaign and the Chilean blueberry campaign, so they will be found in the market, which will generate a challenge. logistics for exports,” he said.

He added that currently there is a lot of commercial uncertainty because with the lack of fruit there is no possibility of doing promotions, so prices must be taken care of until there is a greater volume of fruit at the end of the year, in which he hopes there will be no logistical complications due to the issue of the El Niño Phenomenon. “We hope there are no heavy rains because it could affect the quality of the fruit,” he said.

Regarding Hortifrut Perú, shipments of fresh blueberries in the 2023/2024 campaign are expected to be reduced by approximately 10% compared to the more than 34 million kilos exported in the previous campaign.

He explained that the agroindustrial company currently has about 1800 hectares of blueberries, all in production (which are located in Chao).

Regarding the destination markets, he said that the distribution is very similar to what was handled in previous years, where 60% goes to the United States, around 25% to Europe-UK, 12% goes to Asia and the remaining to Chile, Brazil and Colombia.

Regarding the Asian market, he pointed out that the Peruvian industry seeks to increase shipments of blueberries until it ideally represents more than 18% of the total, because it is a market that has good prices, pays for differentiated sizes and has consumption projections.

“Asia is a very interesting market, but unfortunately it is still emerging because transit times have been complicated by various provisions (such as CO2 reductions) to which shipping companies have to adapt. To this must be added the health and economic crisis, all of which has prevented the Asian market from being captured as planned, but it remains the objective. The trend is to continue growing in that market, mainly in China, and also in markets that are not yet open for Peruvian blueberries, such as Japan, where the entry of said fruit is already in the pipeline,” he stated.

Regarding the possibility of increasing the areas of blueberries, Juan Gamarra stated that they are prioritizing varietal replacement rather than increasing hectares, with the aim of being more efficient with the resources they already have, which is why they are concentrating investment in varieties. that can be more profitable in terms of acceptance, in productive terms for the harvester and for the company as an operation. He then highlighted that they are betting on varietal replacement. "Hortifrut's objective is to reach all possible customers with the most suitable fruit for each of them."

In that sense, he pointed out that his client has many varieties of blueberries, the main ones being “Ventura”, “Biloxi” and “Rocío”, but they work on a total of about 15 varieties.

“As Hortifrut we develop our own genetics, which is why we have been working on those varieties that are already bearing their first fruits. We develop genetics for Peruvian conditions. As a company we are generating our own genotypes in the La Libertad region and they are varieties that we already have in commercial fields such as Imperial and Milagro,” commented Juan José Gamarra.

He indicated that the characteristics sought for each variety depend on the destination market. For example, in Asia there is a lot of preference for flavor, which is a challenging issue because it is difficult to concentrate sweet fruit that can withstand long trips, but the company is working to overcome this.

Likewise, he said that, in that same market, in recent years there has been a differentiated valuation or price based on the caliber of the fruit, which is why his client also works with various varieties that have larger sizes.

He added that the fruit being firm and plump is today an international standard. “You cannot arrive with fruit that is not firm, the American and European market is very demanding with that, it is a differential decision that also pays. I think that freshness, firmness, flavor and size are the variables that the market looks for in a blueberry today.”

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