Members of the US-based Miss-Lou Blueberry Co-op are hoping to identify new export opportunities in India following the success of their first sales programme into the Asian nation.
Over 4 tonnes of the cooperative’s blueberries, grown by members in southern Mississippi, have been airfreighted to Mumbai and the United Arab Emirates over recent weeks, according to the Bellingham Herald.
The group began exploring the export avenue in January after Dinesh Shinde, owner of Anusaya Fresh Worldwide in Mumbai, visited a number of the cooperative’s growers ahead of the first USA Blueberry Blast celebration in India and Dubai.
Anusaya Fresh acted as the distributor for the consignment, while the US Highbush Blueberry Council also helped to coordinate the export programme.
Thomas Payne, market development consultant of the Blueberry Council, said India looms as an important market for the fruit, as the industry looks to grow exports to 15 per cent of the national crop.
“To achieve this we need to succeed in countries such as Brazil, Russia, India and China,” Payne told the Bellingham Herald. “These markets are massive and complex and we'll need FAS' (USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service) continued presence and guidance.”