“There is too much different blueberry on the market and consumer experiences are very different…”
The 40th edition of Macfrut, the important international fair for the fruit and vegetable sector, is coming to an end in Italy. In the meeting that took place in the premises of the Rimini Expo Center in the first days of May, blueberries were the star of the event with the celebration of the International Blueberry Days.
The most outstanding international technical and scientific experts participate in the three days of the meeting, together with important world players, such as Driscoll's, one of the main producers of nurseries and fruits, and the Australian Costa Group, a leading breeder and producer of blueberries.
Technical and commercial meeting
On Wednesday, May 3, the "Blueberry Symposium" took place, which addressed key scientific issues for the industry and cultivation, such as genetics, nurseries, nutrition, cultivation and propagation techniques, and qualitative, nutritional and cranberry biomedics. The productive reality of the main world players and the behavior of the international fruit market also emerged in the rounds of questions and conversation.
On this day, led and moderated by Bruno Mezzetti, he exhibited Jorge Esquivel Manterola, director of Blueberries Consulting, developing the presentation: Characteristics of blueberry plants adapted to different edaphoclimatic conditions.
Competitiveness by quality
It was an interesting presentation by the specialist, who, despite the fact that his subject is essentially technical, due to his experience as an international consultant and knowledgeable about the reality of the industry in several countries, also extended to other related aspects, such as the behavior of the industry and the positioning of blueberries in world markets, where Mr. Esquivel He slipped a critical warning opinion, referring to the factors that are affecting the consistency of blueberries at origin and destination: “There are too many different blueberries on the market and consumer experiences differ greatly. That is why competitiveness for quality must be fostered and progress towards varietal replacement offered by genetic programs around the world", he assured, expanding on the comparative advantages of the new genetics, which are far superior in productivity, yield and quality of the fruit, both in size and flavor, and also with greater firmness to reach the destination markets in much better condition.
The international specialist also addressed the quantitative reality of the industry at a global level and the difficulties that arise for the collection of reliable and updated data, either due to secrecy or lack of organization. “We must know or have global access to world production patterns, where and how much is produced. It is important to have this information because it allows us to position ourselves as producers in international markets”, he commented regarding an issue that the global industry actually suffers from.
in which he was emphatic Jorge Esquivel was to insist that, as producers, exporters or as a country, "we must know each other better and know what our limitations and strengths are in order to compete", ending with a call to improve practices in the field as the main task, since "what What postharvest technologies can do is prolong the good behavior of the fruit, but first, before that, you have to produce good fruit on the farm, at origin," he concluded.
The meeting, coordinated by Professor Bruno Mezzetti from the Marche Polytechnic University, is complemented by technical visits to a testing and advanced training field set up on the fairgrounds itself.
Another novelty is the International Exhibition of Nurseries and Varietal Innovation, as a specialized meeting point for nurseries, breeders, producers, experts and researchers who operate in a strategic field for the development of modern fruit growing. In this regard, the paper is interesting. Driscoll's global blueberry breeding and genetics program, by James Olmstead, from Driscoll's (USA).
In the meeting it was possible to meet and talk about the reality of cultivation in China, through the presentation Blueberry cultivation in China, presented by Cheng Liu, from the Liaoning Academy of Agricultural Sciences (LAAS) and from Portugal, with a talk Blueberry production in Portugal, which was dictated by Pedro Brás de Oliveira, from the National Institute of Agricultural and Veterinary Research. The general situation in Europe was also addressed, with the presentation Blueberry breeding program at FEM: an integrated approach to innovate through new varieties for Northern and Southern Europe, exposed by Lara Giongo, from the Fondazione Edmund Mach (IT), among others, such as the presentations of the various aspects of cultivation in Turkey, Poland, Australia, Hungary, USA and the host country, Italy.
On Thursday, May 4, the different players in the global blueberry industry will focus their attention on market and production trends, involving the world's leading producers and exporters. Finally, on Friday, May 5, a "blueberry field" will be installed within the Macfrut fair, for technical visits led by experts.
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