The Argentine Blueberry Committee (ABC), whose members account for more than 80 per cent of the country’s export volume, said producers and the government are in agreement that the opening of new markets is a top priority for the industry.
China, other Asian countries and parts of Europe have been identified are key targets for development and ABC president Carlos Stabile said he was confident that the phytosanitary protocol with China would be signed ahead of the start of the 2017 season.
“[The opening of the Chinese market] would open a lot of doors for us economically but above all it would be an emblem of our push into new markets,” Stabile said.
“Argentine blueberries are recognised throughout the world for their flavour, quality and the ideal natural conditions in which they are grown.”
In recent years there has been a lot of investment in new technologies and varieties to bring the sector in line with the demands of the international market. In spite of this, the 2016 campaign was disastrous due to the surge in output from Peru which sunk prices in the US market.
Stabile said the opening of new markets in Asia would help ease pressure in the US market.
He added that the ABC considered it crucial “to strengthen international relations and further develop economic cooperation between the European Union and Mercosur” with a view to eliminating EU import tariffs.