Berries ZA South African blueberries

South Africa has shipped a third more blueberries than anticipated to Germany this season as it looks to grow its position in the market.

Some 4,000 tonnes of blueberries were shipped to Germany this season, a 1,000 tonne increase on forecasts, on the back of the country’s biggest-ever crop.

That figure represents 20 per cent of total South African blueberry exports, according to industry body Berries South Africa (Berries ZA).

The rise in shipments comes during a season in which South Africa has stepped up its marketing in Germany with a range of trade-focused activity.

“This has been a highly successful season for us in Germany as we have sought to communicate the availability, quality, flavour and sustainability credentials of South African blueberries,” said Berries ZA manager Elzette Schutte.

Advertising in key publications has been backed by targeted public relations activity focused on telling the story of South African blueberries through the trade media.

There has been a particular focus on explaining the sustainability credentials of the fruit, which is mostly shipped rather than flown and produced according to UN Sustainable Development Goals.

A series of projects are taking place across farms both on the environmental and social responsibility side, while work is ongoing to find innovative packaging solutions to reduce the footprint of the fruit.

In the run up to Fruit Logistica, the world’s largest fresh fruit and vegetable trade show in Berlin, a number of special features on South African blueberries have also been published in trade media.

“We look forward to meeting the trade at Fruit Logistica in April and building on what we have achieved this season in 2022/23,” concluded Schutte. “We’ve had an excellent response from the German market and look forward to growing that relationship further in the coming years.”