Chile blueberries

Chilean Agriculture Minister Antonio Walker met with US agricultural authorities during his visit to Washington this week to request a change to import rules for blueberries and table grapes.

Specifically, the minister is seeking that blueberries from BíoBío and ñuble be allowed to enter the US market without fumigation.

Chile has ramped up its production of organic blueberries in recent years, but subjecting the berries to methyl bromide fumigation damages the fruit and means it cannot be marketed as organic.

“We have to open the US market for blueberries, especially from ñuble and Bío Bío. We are hopeful that this market can open for blueberries without fumigation and to integrate the system approach, ” Walker said.

Between them, BíoBío and ñuble have more than 6,000ha of blueberry production, of which 2,000ha are organic.