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Mexico's berry production is expected to fall by 20% this year due to weather

The National Association of Berry Exporters of Mexico (Aneberries), which brings together 40 blueberry, raspberry, blackberry, and strawberry-producing partners, focuses on promoting the consumption of these fruits in the national and international markets. The association seeks to improve the production and commercialization of berries through three main axes: safety, environmental and labor regulatory and awareness issues, and integrated agroecological pest management.

Juan Luis Flores García, CEO of Aneberries, highlighted the association's commitment to fair trade and health practices based on scientific evidence, aligned with the regulations of the World Trade Organization. Aneberries members produce 75% to 80% of Mexico's total berry production. Mexico has approximately 63,000 hectares of berries. Extensive strawberry production stands out.

Mexico produces some 1,000,000 tons of berries and exports more than 600,000 tons fresh berries, i.e. more than 60% of its production. According to Flores Garcia, berry exports generate annual revenues of $2.6 billion.

The cultivation area of berries has decreased, falling from a 25%-30% rate to a 13%-15% rate, but the sector is carrying out a varietal reconversion in blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries. However, the export volume is expected to contract by up to 20% this year, especially in blueberries, because of adverse weather conditions, Flores García warned. In addition, production costs have increased by 30% because of the increase in labor costs, inputs, genetics, and agronomic packages.

Mexican berries' main market is North America, thanks to its proximity. "96% of shipments go to the United States and Canada. The remaining 4% is sent to 36 other markets. "

Mexican blueberries compete with other producing countries, especially in the United States. According to García, Peru leads the market during the winter window, i.e. from October to January, and Chile in January and February. Mexico produces blueberries throughout the year but has recently modified its commercial approach towards the period from March to May.

Mexico's strawberry, raspberry, and blackberry production complement the US production. This same dynamic is observed in the European market, where Mexican products are seen as complementary. The country needs to increase its production volume, and quality, and develop specific promotional campaigns to differentiate and enhance its raspberries and blackberries supply in Europe.

The future of Mexico's berry industry will depend on adapting to new genetics and weather conditions, which poses challenges and opportunities for the country's producers and exporters, García stated.


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