Mexico’s berry industry will stay on course with positive growth projections of 5 percent in 2020 despite the pandemic caused by COVID-19.
Jose Luis Bustamante Fernandez, President of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Exporters of Berries (Anneberries), said the berry industry counts on more than 47,000 hectares of crops within 22 states, exporting more than 400,000 tons each year, representing $2.45 billion dollars, as reported by El Economista.
Bustamante said the sector is challenged to diversify into to other markets such as Asia and the Middle East as 97.5 percent of its current exports are concentrated in the United States and Canada.
An area of concentration in order to be able to conquer these markets is logistical and commercial relationships, Bustamante said.
He emphasized that “these exports must be sent by air, especially raspberry and blackberry, and the pandemic has interrupted intercontinental flights. This represents a logistics challenged which is the first that we have to face, with charter flights. In addition, we have to find good business partners that will buy our product throughout the whole year, as making one shipment doesn’t mean you’ve won the market.”
The ideal example of this is the United States, where they have managed to send berries 52 weeks a year to keep consumer demand up. The national market also represents a great growth opportunity in the industry, currently being valued at an estimated $400 million.
Prior to the pandemic, double-digit growth was expected this year, but since then the projection has been reduced to 5 percent, Bustamante said.