News and insight for North America's fresh produce buyers
Steven Maxwell

BY STEVEN MAXWELL

Wednesday 21st May 2008, 18:00 Central Time

Driscolls predicts blueberry increase

The group has recovered from a weather-hit 2007

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Leading blueberry producer Driscolls de Chile is confident that the firm has recovered from last season's weather-related setbacks and can increase its share of key export markets this year.

Speaking at the inaugural Global Berry Congress, which was held on 15-16 May in London, Driscolls de Chile managing director Mauricio Gonzalez told Fruitnet that volumes were expected to rise by 30 per cent this year.

Mr Gonzalez said the company was likely to produce 5,000 tonnes of blueberries this season, some 80 per cent of which will be shipped to the US.

"Last season the fruit came out quite late and this affected the campaign, but I think this season is going to be normal and we think that prices are also going to recover," he said.

Another delegate to the congress, Alex Gastelum from US-based berry grower and marketer Giumarra, said the firm expected to have 800ha under berry cultivation in Mexico by 2011, including 300ha of newly-acquired land in the state of Jalisco. The company, which produces blueberries and blackberries, now exports an estimated 800 tonnes of produce each year from its Mexican business. 

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