Northeast African country’s production has potential to supplement year-round supply alongside South Africa, Morocco and Spain
Egypt has the potential to become a major supplier of blueberries to countries in Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
That’s according to leading berry marketer BerryWorld, which has spent more than a decade developing its procurement activity in the northeast African country.
“We see Egypt as a potential supplier to Europe and to the fast-growing Middle and Far East markets, due to its strategic geopolitical position and international logistics,” says Adrian Olins, BerryWorld’s divisional CEO.
With its local partner Agriventure, the group has spent the past 11 years developing blueberry production in the country.
Next year, it expects to sell “significant commercial volumes” of Egyptian-grown fruit, as it looks to supply premium varieties to retail markets all year round.
The varieties involved are grown under licence from Australian breeding programme Mountain Blue. With the same fruit available out of southern Africa and the Iberian peninsula, this helps BerryWorld to market consistent, 12-month supply.
“We are delighted that the Egyptian production window will help us seamlessly supply Mountain Blue blueberry genetics throughout the entire year,” Olins adds.
“This year’s Southern African season has been particularly strong and now, with Egypt and Morocco in season, we can continue to build demand and delight consumers around the globe ahead of Iberia starting in spring.”
The Egyptian blueberry season is now in full swing, and BerryWorld and Agriventure say they are delighted with the quality of this year’s crop.
Agriventure’s plantings, in exclusive agreement with BerryWorld, are understood to be the largest project of its in Egypt.
To date, Agriventure has established over 80ha of Mountain Blue blueberry production, and the fruit produced during the early season is described as “very promising”.
“The plants are yielding large, sweet blueberries with the perfect pop,” explains Ali Diab, CEO of Agriventure. “We are excited to see what the season holds this year, as the first feedback from retailers has been very positive.”