Colombian-grown blueberries could soon be on sale in Europe and the US as the country seeks new markets for its rapidly expanding production.
Proplantas, Colombia’s leading importer and marketer of plant material for the soft fruit sector, said it had received a high level of interest from international buyers after taking part in last month’s Fruit Attraction and PMA Fresh Summit.
Until now, Colombia’s blueberry production has been used almost exclusively to satisfy local demand. But its ability to produce year-round, coupled with its geographical proximity to the US and Europe, puts it on an ideal footing to compete with more established South American suppliers like Chile, Peru and Argentina.
“Our participation [in Fruit Attration and PMA] were every successful,” Proplantas director Diana Velásquez told Agronegocios.co.
She added that the company would be ready to make important shipments to Europe and the US in early 2019.
Velásquez said the company’s strategy was focused on making commercial deals with both regions. In the case of the US, she identified New York and Orlando as two possible entry points.
“The US is very important for us and we have worked hard to ensure we comply with the protocol even though the standards are very strict,” she said.
In Europe, Velásquez said Spain, France, Italy and the UK were all target markets for the company.
Proplantas has 20ha of blueberry production spread across two farms in El Lago and La Peña. They produce a range of varieties including Biloxi, Jupiter Blue, Atlas Blue, Bianca Blue, Blue Ribbon and Legacy.
There are currently around 440ha of blueberry production in Colombia and its objective is to reach 1,500ha by 2021.