The first consignment of blueberries produced in the Mexican state of Jalisco was sent to China this week.
The 420 1.5kg cartons, grown by Berries Paradise, were dispatched on Wednesday from Guadalajara International Airport, according to a report in El Economista.
The airport has become a hub for the country’s international fruit trade and accounts for 63 per cent of air flown berry exports.
“Berry cultivation has increased sharply in Jalisco. In 2012 there were 500ha under production across the state and by the end of 2016 this had risen to 8,648ha, giving a volume of 107,000 tonnes,” said Hector Padilla Gutierrez, the head of the Ministry of Rural Development.
According to Jalisco governor Aristotle Sandoval Diaz said the industry generates 44,000 jobs in the state.
Efforts to open up new export markets have focused on high value markets such as Asia and the Middle East. At the beginning of 2015 Mexico carried out its first raspberry shipment to China and this was followed last year by the first exports of raspberries and strawberries to Dubai and Kuwait and the first blackberry and raspberry shipments to Singapore.
“Berries became the third most exported agricultural product from Mexico in 2016, reaching more than US$1bn,” Sandoval said.