World blueberry industry leaders discuss production

03/14/2014 11:26:00 AM
Doug Ohlemeier

International Blueberry OrganizationIndustry leaders attending the International Blueberry Organization’s annual summit in Guadalajara, Mexico, learned how the host country presents some serious blueberry potential.

During industry roundtable discussions at the March 10-12 event, participants also revealed the production projections for each of the world’s major blueberry supply regions, a first for the industry, according to a news release.

“Every country representative spoke about rising production in their nation,” Andrés Armstrong, the organization’s chairman, said in the release. “China was the most optimistic about its future growth and it was a nice surprise to learn about the positive developments in Portugal.”

Because of its long season, progressive growers, new varieties and proximity to the large U.S. counter-seasonal market, Mexico is poised to change the global blueberry business, according to session speakers.

Producing about 10,000 metric tons today, Mexican volume could quadruple within the next couple of years, Mario Steta, Driscoll’s general manager for Mexico for Watsonville, Calif.-based Driscoll Strawberry Associates Inc., stated in a discussion he moderated, according to the release.

The fourth international meeting attracted record attendance of more than 230 from throughout the world including Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, India, South Africa, Europe and for the first time, Portugal and South Korea, according to the release.



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