Luciano Fiszman, from Gourmet Trading Company (USA):

«The high demand for blueberries is due to the strong supply and high quality»

After a smooth transition from South America, the production of Blueberries have moved to North America. «There have been no interruptions between the growing regions and our strategic partners of Mexico and Florida "They have allowed us to make the transition without operational or commercial difficulties," he says. Luciano Fiszman, from Gourmet Trading Company. “We have been able to maintain and continue the momentum with our customer base and have become even more established”

Currently, a limited amount of organic and conventional fruit is still brought in from Mexico, but the vast majority of blueberries available in the US market are of domestic origin. “In the east, we have finished the Florida season and now we are in full swing in Georgia,” he says. Fiszman. “As we are currently in the busiest weeks in Georgia, we have also started harvesting in North Carolina this week.” In the west, harvesting at Gourmet Trading's California farm began 10 days ago and volume will increase late next week. The company's California blueberry farm is located in Delano in the San Joaquin Valley. This region is known for its hot summer and depending on June temperatures, the blueberry harvest will likely continue for another five weeks. Volumes are expected to peak in the second half of May.

Luciano Fiszman Vice President of Sales and Acquisitions

Successful pollination

Michelle Carpenter, production manager at Gourmet's Delano farm, is very excited about the quality of this season's fruit. “The fruit is huge, very firm and super tasty,” she says. And not just in California, but in Georgia as well. Both western and eastern productions show great quality this season, which can be attributed to the mild winter experienced in all producing regions. “There were enough cold hours, but no late frosts to jeopardize production,” Carpenter says. "Although there were showers, pollination was very satisfactory, and the work of the pollinators bore fruit, with beautiful fruiting and large berries." Weather conditions during flowering and post-flowering were optimal.

Michelle Carpenter Farm Manager at Gourmet Trading Company California

Attractive prices

As the quality is high, the demand is also strong. “Having a good product helps increase demand,” says Adriana Fortune, sales director at Gourmet Trading. Although some in the sector were nervous about production volume estimates in some regions, demand has been strong and has helped maintain a delicate balance with production. Strong demand, combined with solid supply in all producing regions, translates into attractive prices. "Consumers are happy with the product, so they repeat the purchase." This virtuous dynamic keeps cold stores in good shape, as there is no stock despite the large volumes available.

On the other hand, prices are not exactly where producers would like, but Fortune expects them to recover somewhat within a few weeks, when regions like Georgia begin to slow production. «We were coming from high prices, which could have been a problem, since sales lost speed. However, the price was adjusted in time and, together with the excellent quality, the demand for fresh blueberries has remained at a good level. One of the challenges posed by high production volume is the capacity of packaging plants. "There are simply not enough packaging warehouses to absorb the volume available on the farms and package the fruit to take to the market."

“In short, excellent quality is how you sustain a market, and that's what we're seeing this year,” shares Fortune. Despite the high volume, consumers are happy with the quality, so they repeat.

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