Guide

Chilean Blueberry Guide

Published Oct 19, 2021

Production Supply Chain

What is the Supply Network Structure for Chilean Blueberries?

Growers -> packers -> exporters -> traders/receivers -> wholesalers -> retailers -> end-users

There are around 600-700 growers, and there are different types of variety developed in different countries, so they pay a royalty fee to sell the product. An industry with a lot of middlemen involved. There are around 80-90 exporters. Most of the time, exporters are also packers. If their processor cannot handle the volume, they go to a third-party processor or plant. There are not many middlemen/agents/brokers in the value chain because exporters are the ones who can directly go to the farmers.

How is the Supply Network Formed in the Chilean Blueberry Industry?

The supply network of blueberry is formed from a small coop consisting of three to five growers that creates their export company. Since no oligopoly exists in the market, there would be a committee of blueberry to provide prices and volume data for export members.

Three to five growers form a small coop that creates their export company if they have enough volume and then acquires packing technologies. Also, there is no oligopoly, but there is a committee of Blueberries with export members that provide prices and volume data. This committee provides research and technological innovation for blueberry plantations. It also deploys technical teams to study each field to develop and study the variety. Its presence is very strong.


There are around 5-10 major companies that are vertically integrated from grower to packhouse to exporter. The most notable are Hortifruit, Alifrut, Fruiticola, Vitafoods. Vitafoods (merger between Hortifrut & Alifruit) is expected to export 14M kg of frozen blueberries for 2021. Unlike Peru (Camposol), however, the big players do not completely dominate the market. Most blueberry producers/exporters (including SMEs) also produce other fruits, mostly berries such as raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, and cherries.


Revenue of exporters:

The largest exporter gets USD 14 million

2nd: USD 8 million

3rd: USD 4 million

4th ~ 7th: USD 3 million 



How is the supply chain formed?

Growers -> packers -> exporters -> traders/receivers -> wholesalers -> retailers -> end-users


-There are around 600-700 growers, and there are different types of variety developed in different countries, so they pay a royalty fee to sell the product

-Most of the time, exporters are also the packers. If their processor cannot handle the volume, they go to a third-party processor or plant.

  - Revenue of exporters: Largest exporter gets USD 14 million, 2nd: USD 8 million, 3rd: USD 4 million, 4th ~ 7th: USD 3 million of revenue.

   -There are not many middlemen/agents/brokers in the value chain because exporters are the ones who can directly go to the farmers. 

Seasonality of Main Producing Regions

What Is the Seasonality for Chilean Blueberries?

Seasonality (on a monthly basis)


Source: iQonsulting

Chilean season: December – February, during the last stages of the season in Peru and South Africa. 





What Are Main Blueberry Varieties Produced in Chile?

Main varieties: Duke Ponio, Legacy, Jewels, Starks, Carbo, etc. The main variety changes based on the market, and it takes three years to develop a new variety.

-In Chile, there is no hand-picking anymore, and everything is very automatic with machines. Also, there are about 80-90 exporters because the technology isn’t that complex.



Which are the Main Blueberry Producing Regions in Chile?

There are 3 main regions for export volume: Maule, BioBio& Nuble, and Araucania.

Most of the blueberry goes to the international market and not much to the domestic market. 

Trade Overview

What Are the Main Importing Countries of Chilean Blueberries?

-The US constitutes 50% of Chilean blueberry export

-Netherlands, UK, and other European countries also import blueberries from Chile.

-Mexico, Peru, and Argentina are the main competitors.

-Current Challenges: Container shortage due to COVID-19 


China is currently the fastest-growing market for Chilean blueberries, as it offers fair pricing and space for expansion.







Regulations in Exporting Country

How is the export process?

-After packing, the blueberries have to go through the SAG (Servicio Agrícola y Ganadero) inspection for sanitary checks depending on the country it is exporting to. When all requirements are met, they are approved for export.

-At the port, there will be a new checklist to be filled out for SAG and other requirements for customs such as packing list, unique declaration form, BL, and airway bill.

-Most deals are done in FOB. 

Required Documents

What are regulations for exporting?

There is no specific regulation on the export of blueberries, but the local government of importing countries has import regulations.

-In the case of the USA, fumigation and Pre-monitoring process are needed.

-SAG (Servicio Agrícola y Ganadero) is in charge of checking the local authority regulations of the destination countries.


Quality Control/Certification

What are the Certifications Needed to Export Blueberries from Chile?

-Certificate of analysis

-Pallet certificate

-Certificate of Origin

-Phytosanitary certificates

What are quality related issues?

Insects

Mechanical damage

Foreign objects

Unripe fruit

Exudation

Floral remains

Overripe fruit

How is the quality check process?

-General residue analysis is done on the site, and SAG also monitors the fruits on the farm.

-Buyers may conduct third-party quality inspections at the exporting port and also at the exporters’ processing plant.

-Quality check is done again in the packing house wherein a designated personnel tests the Brix level, softness, size, and ripeness.

General Product Introduction

Which market is on the rise?

The market that is on the rise for Chilean blueberries is China, because the offer price is good and there is room for expansion.

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