Organisation’s 2023 State of the Global Blueberry Industry Report highlights recent boom in highbush production and challenges such as rising costs

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The International Blueberry Organization (IBO) has unveiled its 2023 State of the Global Blueberry Industry Report.

“The IBO is an international growers organisation committed to serving the interests of blueberry growers around the world,” said Peter McPherson, chairman of the IBO.

”An important part of our mandate is to provide information to empower transparency and informed decision making as we work together to increase consumption and support a healthy future for the industry.”

The report found that, in an era marked by fluctuating blueberry prices and a 77 per cent surge in highbush production since 2018, the industry had been facing mounting challenges.

”Despite such growth, there’s been a considerable squeeze on margins, with input costs in 2022 soaring between 20-30 per cent and non-harvest costs even doubling in some instances,” the report noted. ”The tide seems to be turning, with costs starting to normalise.

Additionally, the report highlighted the increasing importance of strategies like demand promotions, spotlighting the success of Poland, the emphasis on field efficiency, and the ”relentless pursuit of quality”.

Emerging trends like machine harvesting and an intensified focus on environment, social, and governance (ESG) also garnered attention, with the latest health research surrounding blueberries providing a fresh perspective.

“A well-informed industry is a resilient one,” said Cort Brazelton, chief editor and co-author of the report. ”This latest edition of the Global State of the Blueberry Industry Report marks a significant step forward in our ongoing efforts.

”I’m especially proud that we can offer it free to the industry, thanks to our advertising sponsors,” he said. ”The depth of analysis and insights will surely serve as a valuable resource for all stakeholders, ensuring we can make informed decisions and understand the shifting dynamics of our industry.”

Colin Fain, who spearheaded the team behind the report, said that the report was a testament to the ”evolution and dynamism” of the blueberry industry.

”It’s not just about numbers; it’s about drawing connections, understanding global trends, and equipping stakeholders with knowledge,” he said.

”From plantings and production to trade dynamics, we’ve delved deep, ensuring the industry has a holistic overview to chart its course in an ever-changing marketplace.”

The 2023 State of the Global Blueberry Industry Report can be downloaded here