After the earliest start to a blueberry season in recent memory, the British Columbia Blueberry Council has confirmed the 2015 fresh blueberry season's crop totalled 73,500, exceeding last year's crop of 68,000 tonnes.
Production was expected to be on a par with last year due to the region’s 800 growers facing challenging climatic conditions. However, the season proved to be better than anticipated thanks to a solid crop of late variety berries, the council said.
“A stronger than anticipated season for British Columbia blueberry growers allowed their product to be enjoyed by consumers across Canada,” said Debbie Etsell, executive director of the British Columbia Blueberry Council.
As seen in recent years, an increase in available product has allowed the British Columbia Blueberry Council to continue to expand its overseas marketing efforts, creating new demand for exports from the province.
They recently gained access to the South Korean market, while negotiations to open up the Chinese market are also well advanced.
The British Columbia Blueberry Council represents over 800 blueberry growers who between them cover around 11,000ha. With more than US$1bn in sales in the past five years, Canada is the third largest national producer of sweet and juicy highbush blueberries in the world. The fresh season runs from late June through September.