Blueberry Convention to look at new varieties, logistics issues
The second annual South American Blueberry Convention will be held at the Monticello Conference Center in San Francisco de Mostazal, Chile, on April 18. The event is organized by the International Blueberry Organization and sponsored by ProArandanos from Peru, ABC from Argentina, Upefruy from Uruguay and Aneberries from Mexico and seeks to contribute to collaboration and innovation in the face of the challenges of a complex market but full of opportunities and learnings.
"The supply of blueberries from the South American region and Mexico dominates the market between October and April, so it is essential to understand the production dynamics and jointly seek to increase demand," said Andrés Armstrong, executive director of the Blueberry Committee of Chile, ASOEX.
The convention will challenge the industry to focus on high-quality, new varieties and logistics issues in the production, export and global consumption of the fruit, through interesting conversation panels, exhibitions and presentations by relevant national and international players. One of the confirmed panelists is University of Chile agronomist Raúl Olivares, who has been advising on blueberry cultivation for 28 years, and who will speak about genetic turnover in blueberries: project validation of new varieties for Chile.
"The objective is to address the dynamics that the global development of new blueberry varieties has had in recent years, making it possible to expand the geography of their cultivation and improve the quality of the product at the consumer level," said Olivares, who was formerly production manager in Chile for Driscoll's Inc. and currently works as a private consultant as well as supporting the Blueberry Committee in its New Varieties Validation project.
To analyze the logistics situation of the sector, the event will welcome Ricardo Barckhahn, managing director of Cool Carriers Chile with more than 30 years of experience in the maritime-port industry of our country. The executive will present lessons learned with Blueberries Express, a charter service that Chilean blueberry exporters implemented last year for the United States market, focused on fresh fruit.
"With the first season of relevant experience, we moved a large volume of blueberries and we want to continue to be present,” said Barckhahn. “We believe that we are an important solution for the industry and we can develop many other synergies between the blueberry industry and us as transport service providers. It is the instance where we can transparently analyze the pros and cons of what is happening in the logistics chain, in the supply chain, and see how all the parties involved can collaborate to move this issue forward.”