Strong demand for Berries in the US market, although producers do not benefit
Despite this fact, the increase in production costs and resource constraints compress the benefits of US producers, and are complicating the role / impact of berries imports.
These issues were examined in a report titled “US Berries – Increasing Consumption is Not a Silver Bullet,” which was released this week by the Food & Agribusiness Research (FAR) and Rabobank Advisory Group.
According to the report's author, Roland Fumasi, senior vice president and senior analyst at FAR, the rising costs of labor, land and water - especially in California - are the main challenges for the profitability of producers.
"One of the main responsible for the continuous growth of consumption of fresh berries is its availability throughout the yearFumasi specified, adding that "That said, the best and most important crop regions in California correspond to high value lands where the weather is good and the urban invasion is always happening“. That, plus increased regulatory constraints, water challenges, and rising labor costs, limits growers' profitability.
The report also examines how the challenges of domestic production and the increase in demand are impacting the role of imports, and how imports continue to influence domestic production. In this sense, imports have been fundamental to allow the availability of berries throughout the year, which has had a positive impact on demand. However, the increase in the availability of imports has also generated challenges for some growing regions of the United States; especially Florida and southern California.
The increase in US demand for strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries will probably be met by the increase in imports, not by the expansion of domestic production. However, in the case of blueberries production is expected to expand within the United States.
Finally, it is highlighted that the report examines other specific factors that affect strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. It also highlights the opportunities and challenges underway in the organic berries space.
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