Peru has sent its first-ever shipment of blueberries to China, after the presidents of the two countries signed the official protocol on Monday.
Peruvian president Pedro Pablo Kuczynski and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping signed the protocol at Lima’s presidential palace during the Chinese leader’s visit to the Peruvian capital for the APEC Summit.
In a media release, Peru’s exporters association Adex hailed the blueberry deal, predicting that access for such new high-value products would boost the country’s overall exports to China.
Adex president Juan Varilias said Peruvian exporters could now ship blueberries direct to China, taking advantage of fast and efficient routes to market through China Eastern Airlines’ airfreight service to Shanghai.
The inaugural shipment took off from Lima on Monday, carrying blueberries, avocados, asparagus, mangoes, grapes and other products. It is due to touch down in Shanghai in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
Varilias said China had played a very important role in Peru’s sustained economic growth over the past 15 years, with ever-increasing demand for minerals and investments in the mining sector propelling China to become Peru’s top trading partner.
With Peru’s vast tracts of arable land and high-quality production, Varilias said there was scope for similar agricultural cooperation between the countries. “Peru can become one of the main food suppliers to the Chinese people,” he said
Walmart International’s CEO, Scott Price, has already registered strong interest in stocking Peruvian blueberries on the shelves of its Chinese stores.
Price was in Peru this week attending business meetings as part of the APEC Summit together with a group of Walmart executives hosted by Peru’s agriculture minister Jose Hernandez.
On receiving the news of the signing of the protocol for Peruvian blueberries, Price told local media that Walmart wanted to become the main buyer of Peruvian blueberries for sale across its network of Chinese stores. Hernandez confirmed that Peru was in a good position to supply Walmart’s requirements, particularly as the Andean country has the capacity to produce blueberries year-round.