"There may be a shortage of blueberries until the middle or end of October"
Although the Peruvian blueberry crop has not stopped growing in recent years, this year the situation is different. And it is that there have been floods, while the current higher temperatures, caused by the effects of El Niño, delay the harvest.
"After years in which exports from Peru grew by 20 to 30%, the market has realized that the supply could be less compared to last year," says Stefan Spanjaard, CEO of the subsidiary. of the company Agrovision, with cultivation facilities in various parts of the world.
“The situation varies depending on the production area and variety, but the season will undoubtedly be difficult, as the decrease in volumes may not be offset by a higher price,” says Stefan. "Traditionally, September has always been a difficult month for the blueberry market, but with the arrival of Peru in recent years, this has changed."
“Now that the supply from Peru, like that from Zimbabwe and South Africa, is not taking off as we had hoped, the shortage of blueberries in the market will remain for a while. With the volumes coming from Northern Europe running low, I anticipate that the shortage of product will continue until mid-October.”
“Consumers will notice, because blueberries are more and more on the weekly shopping list,” Stefan continues. “Prices are skyrocketing. In the free market, prices fluctuate between 9 and 11 euros and up to 12 euros or more are paid for special varieties."
According to the general director of Agrovision Europe, the channel's clients retail They understand the situation. “It would have been different if the shortage had been a problem of a single producer, but the abnormal situation extends throughout the sector. The retailers They have gotten used to the fact that there are always blueberries available, but now they will have to change their approach. I don't think that promotions are part of this year's plans and the packaging may be smaller again."
Agrovision's European subsidiary has been running for two years now and Stefan is very satisfied with the results achieved so far. "The first year we focused on organizing ourselves, but soon we had an experienced team with whom we are very well prepared for the challenges that arise."
Agrovision's ambitions are great. Two years ago, the parent company formulated the objective of reaching its own production of 5.000 hectares of blueberries, with cultivation operations around the world, in five years. “We are moving forward as planned. Agrovision Morocco already has six farms, where the first 30 hectares of raspberries have also been planted premium. This is a new variety from a breeding program of which we are the exclusive licensees. Our goal is to become a global player in the berries in a short time, further expanding the assortment of berries that we offer to the market”.